Continuing the discussion from Kentucky's Noah's Ark religious attraction to open next summer:
We’ve been relatively lucky, for the most part, but it’s been a weird experience. We chose our kids’ first preschool based upon decades of family experience and reputation, and for the first three years it was great. At some point the institution was purchased by some company based in Chicago and a new regime was installed that seemed to have a very, very different idea of how the place should be run. Beloved teachers were axed without satisfactory explanation, and parent inquiries and input were ignored or deftly sidestepped. It really did seem like a deliberate effort to drive the place into the ditch, scare away all the parents who were paying five figure sums annually for mudpies in a sandbox (there was much more than that, obviously, but it wasn’t like it was Caltech, just the preschool down the street from Caltech), and then sell off the school at some kind of writeoff loss that only makes sense as a remake of The Producers. Our daughter was mostly done with the place by then, but our son’s last year there was kinda fraught with tension and drama that should have been utterly absent in a place that cares about the emotional well-being of the kids, and several “town-hall” meetings between parents and administrators involved some seriously raised voices.
Yeah, there was an element of that too. I mean, I don’t consider my family even remotely underprivileged, but we were one of three or four families who were at this school on financial assistance. The other parents were perfectly nice to us, but we never really gelled with them, what with their nannies and tennis whites and yoga pants and German SUVs, but what was weird to me was the combination of passionate progressive parenting with the entitlement that comes from being used to getting one’s way. The noisiest people who rebelled the strongest about the change in the school’s direction were those who could most afford to send their kids anywhere else they wanted.
I like our kids’ current school a whole lot, but even it’s not without its drama and intrigues.
Yeah, I’ve found that there is a pretty broad spectrum of educational philosophies that call themselves “Montessori,” and not all of them fall comfortably (or even remotely, sometimes) within the umbrella of what Maria Montessori espoused.