The Open School
The public education system in the United States is overwhelmed and underfunded. California ranks 28th in per-pupil funding, With the persistence of the test-driven agenda of No Cild Left Behind, and as class sizes increase, the ability for teachers to teach "outside the box" and to provide students with in depth exposure to concepts continues to become problematic Students are too often seen as banks for teachers to deposit information into, rather than active learners and participants in wide-ranging ideas. But children are natural learners and when given the right resources and inspiration they will become life-long learners and caring agents for positive change in the society.
The Open School is in the planning phases of launching a new free and democratic school in Orange County, California for grades K through 12. Students are given the freedom to explore their own interests at their own pace. The role of staff becomes to protect each student's rights, and to preserve the space and freedoms granted by the school. The school itself serves as a recourse center, a community, and a place for exploration.
The students and staff build a community based on respect for individuals, regardless of age. The school is run by the community as a whole, through committees and all school meetings. All rules, staff hiring, admissions, finances, events, and more are decided by a democratic process. Students and staff members each have one vote and are all part of creating the rules by which the community functions.