Reading and writing: age, first grade methods, look-say approach

Accreditation

 

From: sr_joanna
Date: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:45 pm
Subject: Accreditation [was: Reading and writing: age, first grade methods, etc.]

Deborah wrote:

Towards the end of my three years as business manager at the Chicago Waldorf School, the school decided to become accredited. The accreditation process involved being scrutinized by the midwest association of private schools (can't remember the exact name, so no caps) and simultaneously scrutinized by AWSNA. Everybody working at the school and many of the volunteers had to write up in detail what they did and how they did it. This included the entire curriculum from the youngest kindergarteners to the 12th grade. All of this material was reviewed by the accreditation team which was, if I remember correctly, four waldorf people and four non-waldorf people. At the end of the process the group came and spent a week at the school, observing in every class, talking to all of the teachers and staff and so on.

Congratulations to the Chicago school! Accreditation is indeed an arduous process; the Detroit Waldorf School, where my children attend (ed), has been through it three (3) times. The first two times was via ISACS alone; the last time (last year) was the joint ISACS/AWSNA team.

Back when I was on the Critics list, I wrote, in part [9 Jan 1997]:

"The Detroit Waldorf School is fully accredited by the Independent School Association -- Central States organization. Their latest scrutiny was during the past school year ('95-'96) and the school passed with flying colors for the second time (the first time was 7 years ago)."

The response to confuse the Detroit school with the Milwaukee Urban Waldorf School (that is, to insinuate that we were a public school and so had to do this) and then to doubt that ISACS was a 'real' accreditation agency. Sigh...

Now, this system is not designed to "critique" waldorf,

Actually, it is designed to help you critique yourself -- do you do what you say you do -- and, to some extent, to critique how well you do what you say you will do. Every time the school goes through the process, the evaluation team comes up with suggestions for improvement -- and the school is revisited at the 3 year mark to see how well you have implemented said suggestions. Our school has found it to be a very helpful process.

but on the other hand inviting outside observers to scrutinize every aspect of your curriculum and teaching methods is not what you do if you are an evil cult with a hidden agenda. Not if you want to keep your agenda hidden, anyway.

Well... not unless you are really really clever!! <grin>

Musing on the dogmatism of the Critics....

JoAnn

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From: Patrick
Date: Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:08 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Accreditation [was: Reading and writing: age, first grade methods, etc.]

Dear Deborah and JoAnn,

The Sacramento Waldorf School is also accredited by the west coast version, WASC. They have gone through at least two cycles. I don't know if they have had a third review that included the joint team or not. When I was there, it was a very good process that resulted in positive changes in the life of our school, mostly with regard to our salaries! The process of self reflection encouraged us to implement better mentoring and evaluation processes, as well.

Patrick

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From: Deborah
Date: Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:04 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Accreditation [was: Reading and writing: age, first

Dear Patrick and Jo Ann,

I'm beginning to feel sad that I missed the second half of the process! I quit working at the school in May and the team came in October. But the bit I did see was very interesting.

I do think that participating in accreditation by outside organizations is a sign of openness on the part of waldorf schools.

What do you think Diana?

Deborah

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From: winters_diana
Date: Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:20 pm
Subject: Re: Accreditation [was: Reading and writing: age, first

Deborah:

I do think that participating in accreditation by outside organizations is a sign of openness on the part of waldorf schools.

What do you think Diana?

I agree.

Diana

Reading and writing: age, first grade methods, look-say approach
 Reading and writing: do early readers burn out?

 To Diana

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