Please read the comments on the previous article. Waldorf schools are not what they claim to be. Critical thinking? Seriously? I suspect the author of these articles is connected to these schools in some way... nobody just closes their eyes to bad performance. Read hundreds of parent complaints about Waldorf schools and Waldorf charter schools here: http://thewaldorfreview.blogspot.com/
"Maybe vendetta is a bad choice of word, but you have been on this for several years with little to no resolution other than complaints and accusations."
Instead of V for Vendetta, how about A for Accountability! There's a multi-million dollar lawsuit in the works. What "resolution" did you expect? Perhaps an apology from Highland Hall? My daughter will have psychological problems for the rest of her LIFE! They harmed all my kids and I'm holding them accountable. If my accusations are unfounded, it behooves Highland Hall to take legal action to stop me from making them. I've certainly cost them a bundle over the years. They can't stop me because what I'm accusing them of is TRUE, and it's only the tip of the iceberg. They're hoping the statue of limitations will run out before I file. That's NOT going to happen.
"Now, the accusations you've lodged here seem weak, and possibly cannot even be substantiated. For example, Harlan Gilbert feels no need to justify his position, nor have you proven anything against him. Only your word has come forth on this whole thread of talk, and it is almost entirely accusatory."
It's obvious Mr. Gilbert cannot justify his position - hence the silence. It is an indication of the strength of my point, not the weakness of it. It's clear and documented what he attempted to do - mislead the readers of the article. The smartest thing he could do at this point is remain silent.
"Therefore, without detailed stats to refute the success numbers given by the official waldorf record keepers, it seems your charges are more personal than global. The great majority of waldorf schools are successful in terms of competent teachers, happy students, and satisfied parents."
How can you possibly substantiate this. ANY snapshot of Waldorf schools at any given moment in time is going to find mostly satisfied customers. Is this surprising to you? The dissatisfied ones are GONE! Who are you getting YOUR information from? Parents still at the schools? I hear from a different set of parents altogether... the ones who have been harmed and whose children have been harmed.
"Otherwise, why would they expend the dollars for the hefty tuition?"
They don't. When they discover the fraudulent practices, most leave or weigh the harm they've already done to their kids vs the harm of continuing. Depending on where their kids are in the process, leaving the school immediately isn't always an option.
"As for knowledge of the principles of Waldorf being based on the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, few parents would have a problem with it once explained in terms of the educational cycles, and the reason for that is because we all experience them, and most of us have been educated accordingly, even in the public school system."
That's absolutely absurd and you know it! If parents wouldn't have a problem once it's explained - WHY NOT EXPLAIN IT BEFORE THEY ENROLL?
"Unfortunately, Highland Hall seems to be the exception, or one of the few exceptions to successful education, and that is where your experience is. "
Yet, they are the TRAINING CENTER for Waldorf teachers. The very worst teachers are teaching new teachers. AWSNA owns the name Waldorf, yet they don't pull it from Highland Hall... in fact, AWSNA keeps reaccrediting Highland Hall. AWSNA members are at Highland Hall all the time. It's a 50+ year old Waldorf school - the oldest on the west coast. To suggest Highland Hall is an anomaly is ludicrous. The only anomaly is ME, a parent who has said "Enough already!" and is holding them accountable for what they do on a DAILY basis!
"But I look with interest to hearing about the lawsuit and how waldorf officaldom responds. This will be important for making the needed changes, placing fault, and getting admission of negligence and malfeasance and so forth. Good luck, and I'll stay on the alert to hear about it."
I'll absolutely keep the world apprised of the results. I think this case will be more important than the PLANS lawsuit. Fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud will be very easy to prove. AWSNA has committed conspiracy to defame, libel and other charges. I am legally well-represented. Keep checking on my blog which is regularly updated:
Waldorf parent, activist, whistleblower
"I found these comments compelling enought to write Stanley in order to ascertain the depth and level of her report. Waiting to hear back. "
Well, that doesn't make a lot of sense does it? What do you expect in return? Something acknowledging that the reporting was superficial? Maybe talk her into yanking the comments? It's the kind of thing I've come to expect from Anthroposophists.
"Some of us see a vendetta on your part, Pete, which seems clearly stated, and even more so when you look up the word in the dictionary."
So, you've been in contact with other readers? Or do you automatically speak for the masses? When you can't refute what I say, you try to make the discussion about ME personally. I'm describing HUGE problems in Waldorf. Parents should check them out for themselves. If they want to spend time checking me out, I have nothing to hide.
If you were here for no other reason than to promote Waldorf, what would you have said differently? Some of us can see what you are doing here!
Pete Karaiskos / Waldorf whistleblower
"Pete, whatever occurs one thing is certain in this debate, and that is that J. Adrian Stanley has moved on to write other interesting articles. Good luck, and thanks for the talk friend."
I have no problem with the reporter who was duped by Waldorf and I'm sure she'll make a fine reporter some day. It would be unusual if she WASN'T fed a bunch of lies by the school she attended. This article, along with the comments, will be referenced for quite some time by Waldorf critics, I'm sure. It's a great example of how stories can be skewed - even by well-meaning reporters. Let's hope she researches her future subject matter a little better than she did Waldorf.
Thanks for the opportunity to have this debate. Also, thanks to Harlan Gilbert for punctuating my points for me so eloquently.
"I suspect that the Waldorf education alternative has advanced quite well in the years since you first saw problems at your school. What this means is that on a more global scale, Waldorf works. But, it could be a fraud that needs a lawsuit to make them come clean about their motives. "
Waldorf has "advanced" by stepping up their public relations program. They have become MORE deceitful, more dishonest, more sinister. As I said before, people contact me EVERY DAY with stories just like mine. Waldorf hasn't addressed the problems they have - how can they? SERIOUSLY! Their problems are directly related to their philosophy. Waldorf is WORSE today than it was a few years ago PRECISELY because they have to deal with people like me making noise on the internet.
They have, for example, hired a disinformation officer (besides Harlan Gilbert) to troll the web looking for complaints. Sune Nordwall is a 50+ year old childless man who is PAID to fraudulently pose as a mother with children on the internet. His job is to refer readers to his own Waldorf disinformation sites and Wikipedia. That's his JOB - he's PAID BY WALDORF to promote disinformation about Waldorf... to act like a satisfied customer with happy, well-rounded, well-educated children who love their school... and to direct people away from complaining parents. That's how Waldorf addresses complaints. Waldorf teacher training now includes classes on DEALING WITH CRITICS.
Not surprisingly, Waldorf has taken the dishonest route in addressing their problems... they have decided to disguise them rather than correct them. When parents ask about something their children are being taught, it is unlikely they will get straight answer. Steiner taught Waldorf teachers that a child's parents are SECONDARY to the child's Waldorf teacher. Waldorf teachers are taught to be dishonest - they have dishonest answers prepared for almost everything (that's why they never sound genuine). AND, when things go terribly wrong, the dishonesty is what Waldorf teachers fall back on. They lie to parents, and they lie in court. I guess it must be easy when you have been brainwashed into thinking you are part of some "bigger plan" for the Earth.
"I look forward to hearing about it, and how Waldorf responds to your issues."
They will FINALLY have to respond in court won't they? I'm looking forward to their response too.
When I prevail in court, I intend to set up a fund to help other parents who were lied to and who wish to sue Waldorf. When Waldorf discovers it's a CRIME that actually costs money when they lie to people, they might reconsider their approach to public relations. I doubt it though... after all, we have the worst miscreants at the very top of the Waldorf hierarchy and they are following the guidelines of their guru - Rudolf Steiner.
Waldorf whistleblower / activist / critic
"Well, in my estimation, Waldorf has proven itself to be a successful alternative to public school in these nearly 100 years since it was first founded in 1919. And that is the BIGGEST statistic you'll find anywhere."
You may very well be right about that. No statistics about their success - only the proliferation of their schools.
" Difficulties, poor performance due to administration and teacher/student problems do exist, as they do in all environs wherein human interaction is the challenge, but they tend to get solved without stagnation setting in. Waldorf has moved forward in a big way by solving issues at each level of occurrence."
Do you have some evidence of this? Didn't think so.
" Just ask AWSNA here in America. They do their own periodic review of schools, and watchdog and whistleblow themselves in the process."
You're funny! They would be the WORST people to ask, of course, but here's what AWSNA COULD do that they don't. They own the name "Waldorf". They could pull the Waldorf name from problematic Waldorf schools. They don't. In AWSNA's head administrator, Patrice Maynard, we find someone who served as MENTOR to Claire McConnell - daughter of US Senator Mitch McConnell. Under Maynard's mentorship, McConnell tied children to their chairs with duct tape as punishment. Not just once but on two separate occasions.
Here's the story: http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=13…
"Claire McConnell, who apologized in a letter June 24, was accused of strapping one child into a chair with a leather belt, tying the hands of others and taping shut the mouths of some elementary school students, the Albany Times Union reported Thursday. "
"McConnell, daughter of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not immediately return phone messages. "She's a young teacher, a learning teacher," Patrice Maynard, a teacher and mentor to McConnell, told the newspaper. "
Maynard is a director at AWSNA. With AWSNA doing their own whistleblowing, who needs critics, right?
"In fact, HH has been recertified a number of times since you began to complain some ten or twelve years ago."
Oh yes, in fact they had been "recertified" several times while I was there too. They also tried re-structuring, flooding the college with administrators then disbanding the college of teachers, hiring administrative teams, hiring a single head administrator, hiring Waldorf consultants to restructure, then back to administrative teams again - each time promising parents that they had made significant changes. So, why is Highland Hall running at 50% capacity then? As I've been pointing out - the problem isn't ONLY with Highland Hall - it goes MUCH higher up. The problem is with AWSNA itself, the poor standards they endorse and the harm they are willing to write off as perhaps "a young teacher" or other nonsense like that. REMEMBER Patrice Maynard represents AWSNA... ;)
"So, I would strongly suggest moving on in life for your own health and well-being, as it appears that Highland Hall has met all the requisite student and curriculum standards for over a decade now, according to AWSNA."
I'm sure you would suggest that. If AWSNA wasn't more corrupt than Highland Hall, I'd say you may have something there. But as I've demonstrated here, over and over again, the problem is bigger than Highland Hall... The problem is WALDORF. The problem is bad teachers being moved from school to school (McConnell is in the UK now I believe). Highland Hall teachers are everywhere. The problem is dishonesty at the highest levels (AWSNA), even dishonesty on Wikipedia. They obviously have done a good job of fooling people like you into thinking there are statistics for their "successes" when there aren't... or that they've produced lots of intelligent graduates - when they haven't. That's why they pay people to confront criticism on the internet... in order to continue committing the fraud they commit on a daily basis.
And I will move on with my life after I have sued Waldorf and AWSNA on behalf of my kids (Yes, the statute of limitations hasn't run out yet)... but only after I'm sure the world is aware of the games they play.
Pete Karaiskos / Whistleblower / Activist
"If one looks at the series of comments that you have made since this article was first printed, it seems clear that your experience of Waldorf education is a disaster, to be sure."
Oh, not just MY experience. Very large attrition rates are part of Waldorf's problem and they occure because of dishonest practices. They even acknowledge this. 25% of students are removed every year. That's a lot of interrupted educations - or worse.
"Yet, nowhere else can it be judged to be what you say it is."
Really? Parents contact me regularly with stories similar to mine. Currently very similar things to what happened to me and my kids are happening at the Brooklyn Waldorf school AND a Waldorf school in the San Francisco Bay area. That's a fact!
"You sound like a lone-wolf, or whistleblower, as you say, but one who expounds a rather isolated incident as if it was the global norm for Waldorf in general."
So you consider over 10 years of abuse involving over a dozen teachers and administrators going all the way to AWSNA an "isolated incident". Is this one of your "hard knocks" jokes again?
There are REAL REASONS behind why this happens in Waldorf. Your "isolated incident" claim is like making a claim that it's an "isolated incident" when measles breaks out in a Waldorf school. NOT TRUE! There are very specific reasons measles break out in Waldorf schools frequently - VERY specific reasons related to Waldorf and Steiner. If you follow Steiner's recommendations, you will have a poorly immunized population where measles (or whooping cough) break out. The REASON is in Steiner's works - just like the REASON for Waldorf's abusive teachers can be found in Steiner's works as well. Steiner instructed teachers to be dishonest with parents. That's what they do!
" Thus, the statisitics of proof in your favor rest on you, not me."
You wrote: "I doubt that you could refute the statistics on its success"
OK... produce the statistics of their success then. Here's what I see... Waldorf has been around for 100 years. They have 1000 schools... each presumably graduating students. Let's say 20 grads per school - that's 20,000 grads per year... every year. So far, Waldorf success stories hover around the CEO of Am Ex and Jennifer Aniston. Who else have these schools of innovative thinkers produced in the past 100 years? Anybody we've heard of? Everybody knows Waldorf can produce actors and actresses... (abused children learn these skills automatically). Where are the famous thinkers? Where are the famous scientists? Where are the famous engineers? Seriously... Jennifer Aniston is the best they could produce? With 94% of grads going on to attend college? I'd LOVE to see some statistics from Waldorf. Got any?
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