Don't forget to visit The Waldorf Review for more up-to-date school reviews and news stories.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bright Water School - Reviews by Parents

YES - NO mention of Waldorf in the name. Check out the first review:

Posted on Mar 18, 2012
Bright Water is a Waldorf school. If you already are familiar with Waldorf
teachings, then that may be all the info you need. I didn't fully understand the
educational philosophy, & the result was 3 years of elementary school misery for
my bright little person. But 1st: the 3 stars given here are a compromise. The
kindergarten deserves 5 stars, and lasts 3 years, ages 4-6. It is gentle,
nurturing, & It is a place where your child (if you comply w rules of NO TV, NO
video games, NO computer on in any common room of your home while the child is
present) will learn a larger vocab. than public school kids, develop as an
independent thinker, & gain a greater attention span than most. (Jane Healy:
Failure to Communicate). After K, grab your child and run. Beveled windows &
beautiful rooms mean nothing if all your child does is copy off of the board.
The goal is for 1st graders to be able to write perfectly on unlined paper. As a
teacher, I was ill when I found this out. 3 years, & I didn't know!! BW teachers
aren't required to have WA state teaching certs, only "Steiner School". It's
like the Amish; if it existed after Steiner, they won't use the ideas. Be
careful here.
--Submitted by a parent

Here's another parent who bought into the hype:

Posted on Aug 10, 2011
Our child attended BWS for two years and our experience did not meet the
theological or pedagogical foundation of a Waldorf education let alone a basic
education. The school has struggled to maintain teachers and approaches any
special needs assessment with a para-professional possessing enough knowledge to
be damaging and in fact was for our child. The administration's interest and
full support was for the school and at no time could we find an internal
advocate for our child. Today, our child has been diagnosed with dyslexia and is
beginning a public school education two years behind following an education at
BWS. While capable of knitting and playing the flute, today is unable to read or
write. This is not a school with growing pains - it is not a school - it is an
institution of incompetence. Before you send your child - investigate the level
of educational certification of its instructors and the credentials of its
"specialists." --Submitted by a parent

Posted on Apr 15, 2011
We did not have a positive experience with BWS. We were attracted to the strong
artistic aspect of the education but quickly were disillusioned. The
administration does not communicate or work well with parents, and we never felt
welcomed by the administration. The teacher was very persuasive in convincing us
of the importance of delaying academics, which put our child at a significant
disadvantage. The teacher also was very cold towards the new mothers in the
parent group. It appeared to us that the philosophy encouraged the teacher child
bond and discounted the importance of the parent child relationship. Children
were left to "work problems out on their own". If you are really interested in
Waldorf we suggest looking elsewhere. --Submitted by a parent

Posted October 12, 2009
Brightwater is a new school. I believe under 10 years old. I really liked the
teachers and families. However, the academics are not strong at the school. Lots
of parents felt the need to tutor their children to supplement. I pulled my kid
out because I did not want her to fall more behind. —Submitted by a parent

This poster noticed the BULLSHIT review before their post. As I said, I've been
avoiding the glowing reviews because they are often made under pressure when
they aren't made by teachers and administrators. The reviewer below even
noticed racial intolerance. Hmmmm....

Posted March 30, 2007
I think the previous review was placed by an administrator! It is to perfect and
glowing. My experience with the school is less then perfect. In fact I often
feel extremely sad about the way I am treated and the way our child is viewed.
The school often feels very intolerant of differences and can seem racist at
times. Luckily my child's teacher (who they have for their entire school life in
a Waldorf program) is an incredible person who is very thoughtful and brilliant.
With that said that is the reason why we stay because the individual teacher is
marvelous. But in the bigger picture I feel kind of with drawn and ambivolent
about our experience over all. The positives include a strong bases in art,
thorough examination of a variety of historical periods of time, and the pace is
very calming!
—Submitted by a parent\

Our family has been involved with Bright Water School for some years and will
not be continuing. The school has some good teachers and a great community. But
many teachers are marginally qualified and some good teachers have left. The
administration is the weakest part of the school, being defensive, deceptive,
and authoritarian. The administration is at times hostile towards parents and
certainly has no ability to work with parents for the mutual benefit of
children. They say they encourage freethinking among children, but in reality
children are required to conform to a rigid schedule of what Rudolf Steiner
determined was "developmentally appropriate" 100 years ago. In the time we have
been there the school has had one crisis after another and quite a bit of
turnover. If you are "dead set" on Waldorf education for your kids you might be
surprised to find out what that means in practice.
razguy added: 04/16/2011

My daughter attended this school for two years (1st and 2nd grades). I ended up
pulling her out and placing her back in public school because the academics at
Brightwater were not strong.

It was a hard decision because I loved the environment at the school, the
community and the staff. In our short time there we built some great friendships
especially with the teachers. However, the school was costly and I found myself
having to suppliment her education there with tutors so that she had her basics.
A number of other parents in her class were doing the same thing.

The staff is really dedicated to the school and students. The environment is
creative. However, the school is very young and has some problems to work out
(socially and academically).

It has been a few years since we've been there so I is worth checking out to see
where they are now. Former Bright Water parent

Beware! School uses warm and fuzzy words to draw in parents and students. The
school's teachers and administration do not truely represent the Waldorf
philosophy. Only one teacher of the 8 grade teachers actually has the education
and ability to conduct herself as a true Waldorf teacher. The administration has
made comments to draw in students, but when research is made on the statements
it can be find that the statements are not always true. The administration also
lacks respect for children in need of medicine for health emergencies. One
parent stated to me that when she requested that the school keep an EpiPen for
the daughter, she was laughted at by a member of the administration. If you are
considering enrolling your child in Bright Water School, please think twice.
There are others schools in the area that work within the true Waldorf
philosophy and are truthful to enrolling families. - anonymous

Austin Waldorf School - Reviews by Parents\

Student hurt in fire at Oak Hill school
Burns suffered during lab experiment

AUSTIN (KXAN) - A 12-year-old girl from Austin Waldorf School was taken to Dell
Children's Medical Center on Friday morning with burns from a fire at Waldorf
School in Oak Hill.

A fire official said the girl suffered burns to 20 percent of her body with
injuries to her to leg, arm and face. The fire started as the result of a
laboratory experiment, the official said. There was smoke inside the school but
fire did not involve the building, officials said.

The private school is at 8700 South View Road. The incident is being

Here's more on the story:\

Update 11:30 a.m.: Emergency workers now say a 12-year-old girl suffered burns
closer to 12 to 15 percent of her body in an experiment at a school in Southwest
Austin Friday.
The girl suffered serious burns to her airway, a serious concern, said an
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services official. She also suffered
burns to her face, arms and legs.
The girl was participating in an experiment with her sixth-grade class at
Waldorf Austin School near the Y at Oak Hill before she suffered the burns, the
official said.
Initial reports gathered by emergency workers said the class was working with
water and alcohol — and boiling the alcohol, the official said.

Posted January 12, 2013
This was a terrible place for my children. My son took a huge blow to his self esteem in the short time he spent there. It truly was a disaster. They are not prepared to deal with learning difficulties at all. They accepted our son based on a very short interview and a quick look over his work from another Waldorf school. The person who interviewed us said his work was "advanced". Two short months into the school year and we were having major problems. After a total of 5 months we withdrew our son as he was suffering in class. He is doing much better now and we are considering the local public school after a short period of homeschooling. The community is not warm as they would like you to believe. We came from another school with a fantastic community, so we know what that's all about and AWS doesn't have it. My children's teachers didn't even know the name of their baby sister. The"mentor" program to welcome new families is a joke. These people were paid a lot of money to blow off our family when we became inconvenient. 
—Submitted by a parent

Oh boy... here we go - they take this woman's money while losing her son for an

Posted July 14, 2011
the customer service and counselors for the camp were not friendly or inviting!
But awkward and uninformative. I did not go back for the last days and did not
get a refund or even offered one. I didn't even know where my son was when
coming to pick up and no one knew where he was for an hour! My mom told me I
should have called the police. Maybe I should have. The teacher was creepy and
wierd My son did not like him and neither —Submitted by a parent


Posted April 19, 2007
Our son was enrolled - he is no longer attending because the school is not the
arts integrated curriculum we first saw upon enrollment. Please look into
Anthroposophy and the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (who the school and curriculum
is based upon)before you enroll.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 13, 2006
Very strict on many lifestyle issues. Not the laidback atmosphere we thought it
would be. —Submitted by a parent

Posted July 24, 2005
Do your 'due diligence' before going through the admissions process. Check out
Waldorf education and Anthroposophy in depth before you decide this is the place
for your child. We found that there is much more than meets the eye to this
particular cirriculum. Do the research, it can be tough if you, as parents do
not believe in the Waldorf pedagogy. Ask for full disclosure.
—Submitted by a parent

Ashwood Waldorf School - Review by a Parent


I was not at all satisfied with this school for my daughter. There is a lack of
communication, integrity, and leadership. Without warning my daughter was
dismissed. The teacher was not briefed on the policies. No one was brave enough
to stand up for this act of discrimination. The tuition money that I prepaid was
not returned.

Oh yeah... and they KEPT THE MONEY!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Honululu Waldorf School - Reviews by Parents

Remember this school? They sued residents around their school:

"As far as we're concerned, now we're going to make it very clear to them we
don't even want them in our community any longer," said Seitz, who also is
president of the Niu Valley Community Association. "They no longer are going to
have freedom to exist in our valley to do what they want to do. They're going to
be under siege."

That was in 2007... but the school is still there apparently:

Let's see how they're doing...\

The first three reviews are as of 3 days ago... must have been a bad day for the
pre-kindergarten teacher:

Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012
As soon as we mentioned other private schools to our teacher in Pre-K and having
her submit the Progress Report to other schools, - everything went upside down.
The attitude changed, the Report was not handled properly and was biased and
full of her opinions and suggestions. Needless to say, when we questioned the
protocol on the such reports written by Pre-K teacher to other schools, - the
anwser was, - she should have not written one! i.e. it only applies to grade
school and not Pre-K, K level. We complained and were extremely upset. The
outcome - THEY TOLD US TO LEAVE THE SCHOOL! Heartless, unorganized, biased, no
core value. So , unless you are willing to kiss up and never object, - stay away
from this "school". The rule of this school is - The Teacher Is Always Right. (
even when she screwed up) —Submitted by a parent

Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012
Pre-K teacher is emotionaly unstable. Communication is a problem, does not know
how to handle simple discipline. Calling parents in the middle of the day asking
to pick up children because they through rocks at each other. Unorganized school
and I would not recomend to anyone. Many students are leaving to other private
schools after Pre-K. —Submitted by a parent

Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012
Though our children enjoyed the school, my husband and I were not happy with a
teacher. She was very strict and very opinionated. She did not allow our son to
go to 1st grade; as per her opinion, - he was not ready. Yet, he is in the 1 st
grade now in the different school and is very capabable and ready to learn and
—Submitted by a parent

Another parent expecting the "hype" and not the reality.

Posted January 14, 2011
This is a good school in many ways. It lacks the heart, knowledge and true
spirit of Waldorf but is still better in many ways than what else is out there.
In Europe, Waldorf works elegantly and effectively for 'difficult' or disruptive
children, in fact, so much so that the government pays for some of the most
problematic children to attend Waldorf. This is a great life experience for the
whole community. It seems that this is not the case here, 'difficult' children
are not well-held in a way that they can heal and often become the scapegoats
for teachers inability and/or insecurity. We removed our children after several
years. We could not recommend this as a wholesome or effective learning
environment. —Submitted by a parent

Posted December 28, 2009
The Waldorf curriculum was designed to end at 8th grade. Honolulu Waldorf School
does very well in the lower grades, and starts to unravel at around the sixth
grade. My kids went to this school from pre-k to eight and sixth grades. Parents
should ask hard questions of a variety of individuals, not just the teachers
that form the governing body. Particularly, ask about how many kids go to
college and how discipline is handled. If you question HWS deviation from
established Walodorf pedagogy, you and your children will quickly be pushed from
the fold. —Submitted by a parent

Posted May 8, 2004
Just as in other Waldorf Schools, the problem here is that no one wants to
discipline problem children. —Submitted by a parent

Waldorf School of Cape Cod - Reviews by Parents\

Posted February 15, 2012
If you think this Waldorf School is like other successful Waldorf Schools,
PLEASE THINK AGAIN. The grades are a GAMBLE depending on the TEACHER your child
will have for 8 YEARS. There is little to no accountability for poor quality and
inconsistent standards of education and behavior. The admin and faculty dogma is
closely held in secrecy which is part and parcel to the Rudolph Steiner s
teachings and if questioned you will receive patent answers with little thought
to your child s specific needs. If you find a faculty member that is willing to
listen without prejudice to your concerns, good luck. Even the faculty who are
known amongst their colleagues for poor performance have job safety. Many
families have left this school after investing many years in it because their
concerns have been systematically swept under the rug. Mum's the word here. I
for one fell under the spell of this school. I found that my child and the
majority of classmates that stayed were left with such deficits in academics
that intense interventions were needed for most. Our class started with 14 or
more and ended with 4. Be aware of retention rates at this school. They differ
among the faculty greatly.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 2, 2012
There is no boss at a Waldorf School which means there is no one accountable.
Faculty hold the position of authority and the members change yearly. Issues are
continually deferred for lengthy amounts of times and conclusions are rarely met
or shared. In the past several years the administration staff has changed every
couple of years for a total of approximately six changes to the Administrator
position, six to the Administration Assistant position and several more to the
bookkeeper position. There has also been many staff hired and let go in
positions such as Director of Admissions and Director of Outreach. In short
there is little consistency in the Administration staff. Some faculty will cover
their colleagues backs at great lengths even when evidence of unacceptable
behaviors are present or educational needs of the students are not being
met.There is enormous amounts of indifference directed towards any parent who
may question the Waldorf School or challenge them in any way.Children are not
held in reverence here at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod as is the Rudolph
Steiner teaching. In fact most issues are viewed as the child's and not the
adults in charge. Take a good look —Submitted by a parent

Posted February 7, 2005
My daughter has been attending Waldorf School of Cape Cod for five years,
completing second grade. She's learned to knit, mold beeswax, sing odd songs,
and has barely learned to read or write at the age of eight. This school's
emphasis on political correctiveness and art has completely absorbed their
ability to teach any fundamental aspect of early childhood learning. Though my
daughter has always received good marks in class, she is very far behind the
other children her age who go to other schools in every subject. There have been
several cases of violence that have been dismissed by the school system, and
there seems to be a total lacking of any form of discipline. I anxiuosly await
the end of the school year when I can enroll her into a different school. Please
save your child's education and put them into a different school system.
—Submitted by a parent\

If academics hold any importance to you, do not attend this school. Don't ask
about how many children are in each class, but about how many have left. If you
enroll your child here, be sure to find a good tutor to take the Waldorf journey
with your child.
Submitted by a Parent on Jul 19, 2011

Absolutely agree with former reviewer. My child's class started with more than
14 students and by graduation only 4 were left. This is not the only class that
dropped out. Do your research regarding this school. Philosophies are archaic
and completely misunderstood by parents. There are no assessments to track your
child's progress and it is almost impossible to find a tutor who can unravel the
gaps your child will undoubtedly have when transferring to another school. Do
not attend this school. There are few redeeming qualities once you get past the
"oooh isn't this a nice place" feeling.
Submitted by a Parent on Feb 22, 2012

Richmond Waldorf School - Reviews by Parents

* Reviewed by Parent or Guardian on May 28, 2011
* Before even considering this school, research anthrosophy and ask very
specific questions about HOW much math is taught each day. Ask what history and
science (very little actually) will be taught in lower grades and will the
school accommodate an early reader (no they won't). And get tuition insurance,
so if you are unhappy with the school and the lack of emphasis placed on
academics you can get your tuition refunded. I am a former Waldorf parent. I
have intimate knowledge with this school and its practices. There are other
schools, better schools, pass this woefully inadequate, albeit lovely pastel
school by.

* Reviewed by Parent/Guardian on September 23, 2010
* Absolutely awful - security concerns - they are just winging it. Ask them
about graduates! Watch them squirm!,or.r_gc.r_\

knitter ‎ - Jul 14, 2008
okay for Kindergarten, but go elswhere after that. My daughter attended Richmond
Waldorf for two years before starting first grade there. Their Kindergarten is
for ages 3-6 and it's a gentle, playful atmosphere. The focus was on creative
play, which was fine by me and my daughter loved it. She expected to love first
grade too. After less than two months in Waldorf first grade, my outgoing,
happy, very social and confident little girl turned into an anxious, worried
child who no longer liked school, fell apart and started crying when she made
mistakes and became afraid of meeting new children. I took her out and it was
months before she was back to her old self. I felt her teacher's methods of
working with the children were passive aggressive and emphasized perfectionism.
I also thought she was sometimes flat out cruel to some of the kids. Because
Waldorf is a teacher run school, there isn't much you can do about it when you
have a problem with the teacher. There was only one first grade, so wasn't
possible to tranfer classes. I'm ... My daughter attended Richmond Waldorf for
two years before starting first grade there. Their Kindergarten is for ages 3-6
and it's a gentle, playful atmosphere. The focus was on creative play, which was
fine by me and my daughter loved it. She expected to love first grade too. After
less than two months in Waldorf first grade, my outgoing, happy, very social and
confident little girl turned into an anxious, worried child who no longer liked
school, fell apart and started crying when she made mistakes and became afraid
of meeting new children. I took her out and it was months before she was back to
her old self. I felt her teacher's methods of working with the children were
passive aggressive and emphasized perfectionism. I also thought she was
sometimes flat out cruel to some of the kids. Because Waldorf is a teacher run
school, there isn't much you can do about it when you have a problem with the
teacher. There was only one first grade, so wasn't possible to tranfer classes.
I'm not sure I'd have done that if I could have anyway, because I suspect this
teacher was using accepted Waldorf methods for classroom management. Not that
anyone there would tell you that. Ask a straight yes or no question of a Waldorf
teacher and you get a ten minute answer about child development and Waldorf
philosophy and later you realize your question was never actually answered.
Despite how much my daughter loved her school and the friends she made there,
we've never regretted taking her out. She's never expressed an interest in going
back either.\

DO NOT believe their website
by Libby365 at Citysearch

As a parent with a child that was in grade 2 and 3 at Richmond Waldorf, I can
tell you this school constantly looses students once the parents realize their
children are not receiving an education that will allow them to successfully
matriculate to other schools. My child came in to RWS after attending
kindergarten and first grade at a nationally recognized Virginia school
district. She was on target for math and above grade in reading. After a year
and a half, her math and reading skills declined. She didn't learn anything of
real substance in history or science.

Waldorf is based on unproven ideas of a man Ruldof Steiner, who didn't have
children or an education in either early childhood education or child
psychology. Steiner's decision to teach reading in second grade is based on
children loosing baby teeth, not any concrete studies on child reading

Student evaluations is like reading an astrological chart, with statements like
"not fully reincarnated in body", instead of useful evaluations on academic
progress. You, as the parent, will never be told by RWS whether your child is
doing well academically or not. There is no quantitative evaluation, no
recording of grades.

The children do not have modern school aids (handouts, workbooks, worksheets).
Instead, the students copy black boards full of teacher written narratives and a
drawing that the students must copy. This comprises of the "main lesson", which
is usually a myth or from the bible, rather than real history or real science.

There are better private schools here in Richmond that have real certified
teachers that will teach your child to read, write and a solid foundation and
mastery of math.

Please do not send your child to this school.

Not accredited... hires untrained, uncertified teachers
by Anonymous at Insider Pages
This school IS NOT an alternative to area public or private schools. RWS doesn't
provide textbooks to lower grades, does not test and doesn't equip the child
academically to matriculate successfully to another school at the next grade.…

FormerRWSparent 12/26/2011
This is in response to RWS Parent.

This is in response to RWS... read more 1861-1925 and nothing learned in the
past 87 years in childhood education are used. Modern workbooks are not used.
The student created "workbooks" are simply the students copying down word for
word what the teacher writes on the blackboard for main lesson which in lower
school is either a legend, bible story or fantasy.

3) As far as RWS children returning to public schools... unless the parents
homeschool them, they are far behind their peers in public schools. I spoke to
the admissions director of the Orchard House School about Waldorf kids. Orchard
House is a private girls middle school that is talked about as a middle school
at RWS. The director told me herself that Waldorf girls must be CAUGHT UP!! I
don't know about you, but I expect my child's school to prepare her for the next
grade or the next school. I took my daughter to Montissori and the initial
testing was that she was 2 grades behind!! She was at grade level when she came
to RWS in 2nd grade in math and above grade level in reading. A year and a half
at RWS and Montissori said she was 2 GRADES BEHIND!!! Another child in her class
that left after 3rd grade, after attending kindergarten thru 3rd grade at
Waldorf was unable to read and spent half of 4th grade in remedial classes
trying to get caught up.

Waldorf schools also try to tell you how to raise your child and run your
household. They are staunchly against technology (but the teachers drive cars to
school). They want you to get rid of your TV, computer and cd collection. The
children cannot wear light up shoes, clothes with cartoons or popular culture.
Also, black is strongly frowned on. Can't wear it nor can the children color
with it. Seriously, no black crayons!!! The lovely water color paintings you see
on the walls, aren't as lovely as you think when you find out that the teacher
requires the children to paint the very same picture, the very same way. It's
not so much as a technique lesson in painting as a Rudolf Steiner pedagogic
anthroposophic thing. Speaking of Rudolf Steiner... blond haired children or
favored by Steiner anthros over dark haired kids and white kids over non-white
kids. This is totally out right true, even though the school will probably
vehemently deny it. A little digging on Steiner, anthroposophy and race will
reveal the truth.

5. Finally... in selecting a school for your child, look for a school that is
accredited by other bodies than themselves, make sure the teachers attended
universities or colleges that are accredited by other bodies than themselves and
have state certification. If there is no headmaster or principal...look for
another school. The teachers are in charge at Waldorf schools and if the parents
have any problems or concerns, they are generally ignored.

6. Waldorf is not a cheap school, the tuition is in line with other extremely
excellent private schools like St. Michael's Episicopal, however the education
that your child will receive at Waldorf will be worse than the worst public
school. If you have $10k to spend on a private education, please look somewhere
else. The academic and psychological harm is simply not worth the pretty pastel
walls, or all the beeswax or knit crafts in the world.

Lib 365 07/02/2011
DO NOT believe their website

Provided by Citysearch

As a parent with a child that was in grade 2 and 3 at... read more grade in
reading. After a year and a half, her math and reading skills declined. She
didn't learn anything of real substance in history or science. Waldorf is based
on unproven ideas of a man Ruldof Steiner, who didn't have children or an
education in either early childhood education or child psychology. Steiner's
decision to teach reading in second grade is based on children loosing baby
teeth, not any concrete studies on child reading readiness. Student evaluations
is like reading an astrological chart, with statements like "not fully
reincarnated in body", instead of useful evaluations on academic progress. You,
as the parent, will never be told by RWS whether your child is doing well
academically or not. There is no quantitative evaluation, no recording of
grades. The children do not have modern school aids (handouts, workbooks,
worksheets). Instead, the students copy black boards full of teacher written
narratives and a drawing that the students must copy. This comprises of the
"main lesson", which is usually a myth or from the bible, rather than real
history or real science. There are better private schools here in Richmond that
have real certified teachers that will teach your child to read, write and a
solid foundation and mastery of math. Please do not send your child to this

Our experience with this school was terrible; our child's teacher told students
that they weren't smart, left children unaccompanied outside ... just awful.
Submitted by a Parent on Mar 15, 2010

Not accredited... hires untrained, uncertified teachers
This school IS NOT an alternative to area public or private schools. RWS doesn't provide textbooks to lower grades, does not test and doesn't equip the child academically to matriculate successfully to another school at the next grade. What usually happens is the child must either be homeschooled for a year or repeat the year. RWS is not accredited, nor is it required by VA state regulations to provide trained, certified teachers. Probably an ok school for preschoolers, though. If your child is learning disabled, there are other schools with teachers trained in special education that will provide your child with a better education.
March 16, 2011
Posted December 13, 2011
We had a terrible experience with this school once my child entered the "grades." If its so wonderful, why do so few students stay through eighth grade? —Submitted by a parent

Posted August 28, 2007
The website states that they teach the whole child. However, in my experience, they are not taught the basics enough to transfer at grade level to another school.  —Submitted by a parent

Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor - Reviews by Parents\

Posted October 14, 2011
I believe in Rudolf Steiner's ideas about childhood and education, but this
school has a "one size fits all" approach to learning -- all children are
expected to conform to it and the Waldorf pedagogy is the only one relied upon
to address issues. Our child was there for two years and we found the atmosphere
to be strict, extremely rule-oriented, and much too teacher-centered, leaving
the children little or no freedom for self-discovery, self-discipline, and
creative expression. There are some happy, confident, experienced teachers at
the school, and you are fortunate if your child has one of them for 8 years. In
our experience, Waldorf philosophy did not translate into joyful learning and
positive child development.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 9, 2011
My children attended this school for several years and there were many things we
loved about it. Waldorf education can be a wonderful thing, and was in the
school that my children attended in another state before moving here. What
eventually drove us away, however, was the school's inability to resolve
conflict and deal with issues as they arise. In two of the three we were a part
of, there were numerous families that had relatively small problems arise
(learning disabilities, minor conflicts with teachers or other students, etc).
We watched all of these families, some of them close friends, as they tried to
navigate through these issues using the "process" set down by the school which
includes various levels of administration, teachers, board, etc. Most of these
issues were never resolved, and many of the families pulled their children out
of the school. The ones that stayed were so resentful that it created a constant
atmosphere of tension and conflict in the two classes. Eventually, we felt our
children were being negatively affected by all of the conflict, friends leaving
and overall instability of the school so we decided to find another school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 2, 2011
My child spent one year recently at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. In
my opinion, the worst part was the oppressively strict environment. For example,
children were not allowed to talk to friends in class or leave their seats
without the teacher's permission, and were sent to stand in the hall as
punishment. After spending one day observing in my child's class, I felt like I
was suffocating. The school offers one rigid approach to teaching. If it doesn't
happen to fit a child's learning style, the teachers astonishingly label the
child as having learning and/or behavior problems, and blame is placed on the
child and/or the parents. There is much good about Waldorf education, but this
school seems to be unaware of 21st century research on brain development, and
how to incorporate innovative, diverse and effective teaching methods into the
Waldorf philosophy. If you visit the school, I urge you to look beyond an
idealistic vision of what a Waldorf school could be, and see if the children in
the classrooms appear to be lively, active learners, or quiet, obedient
students. There is an important difference between the two that I think RSSAA
does not fully recognize. —Submitted by a parent

PK: The next one hints at a diagnosis of demonic possession... note how the
child is characterized by the teacher as having a "dark side"...

Posted June 7, 2011
We sent our first grader here after a difficult experience in the public
schools. We were given promises that they would individualize his need for
advanced math and his difficulties with reading. Instead when he did not respond
well to "one size fits all" teaching, they labeled him a behavior problem and
told us how we were failing him as parents. We were given advice on everything
from sleep to diet to clothing to our visitation schedule (we are divorced).
They told us often our child had a "dark side". When he was diagnosed as
dyslexic and gifted, we brought in educational experts to help the teacher meet
his needs. She was hostile and completely uninterested in adopting any plan we
might suggest. She told us we should "trust" her plan and then simply began
sending him home everyday when he became too frustrated to function. Our child
came home with bruises and scratches, and we were told it was healthy "rough
play". However when a classmate complained our child was "too rough" he was
labeled "aggressive". I would not recommend anyone with a child "outside the
norm" choose Steiner. They are completely unprepared to handle it, and are
likely to pathologize the child. —Submitted by a parent

Posted February 26, 2011
Rudolf Steiner High School is a failing experiment in an alternative liberal
education enterprise. Teachers are over educated, overpaid and more concerned
with protecting their egos, reputations, and salaries than instructing students.
Another website lists enrollment at only 54 students. Less than four years ago,
there were well over 100. By Waldorf philosophy, teachers dominate the
organization. Teachers can and have overridden repeated parental concerns and
proactive administrative policies. As a direct result, administrative staff has
had an excessive turnover rate to the detriment of students and parents.
the two misspellings in one sentence of the parental posting of November 1,
2007. While some Steiner students and their parents are not yet proficient in
reading, writing, mathematics and the hard sciences; they excel in music, arts
and dance. And their self esteem is off the charts. If you don't want to believe
this opinion regarding their collective self worth; I suggest you simply
consider asking the students, their supportive liberal parents and most of the
Rudolf Steiner teachers. —Submitted by a parent

New York Rudolf Steiner School - Reviews by Parents

Here's the Rudolf Steiner School in New York...\

Posted April 9, 2010
We enjoyed our years at this school, but not without reservations. Because there
is no principal, the administrative aspects of the school are entirely
disorganized. Should you experience a real problem, it is very difficult to know
just whom to address. The parent community is great, though. Very warm and
intelligent. Looking forward, however, the college acceptances list in the upper
school is pretty darn awful.
—Submitted by a parent\

I found the school to be very friendly but was surprised to find that they did
not offer, nor seem to believe in providing support services to students with
different learning styles/needs. My child was able to work with an outside
specialist to make up for this, but note that the emphasis on educating the
"whole child", and learning as "an artistic process" is NOT a euphemism for "we
work with kids with learning issues." Very warm faculty though, and I truly
enjoyed getting to know the families in this school--very community oriented. -
satisfied parent

Steiner looks good much better than it is, and although it may have something to
offer to completely art-oriented students, whose parents are not particularly
unconcerned about their intellectual development. Although some parents are
quite active in the school, it seemed to me that they won their positions by
being very conformist. A frequent comment made to me by parents was that they
were surprised that Steiner did not foster or support much intergenerational
activity with the class and parents. Parents were welcomed of course in the
minimum of spectator-type activities--viewing a science fair or a play, also in
lending their talents to making these productions look better through working on
costumes or scenery. "Class representatives" to the Parents Association ....are
picked by the respective class teachers. Kind of like having union leaders
picked by the employers! Being with the same small group of kids year after year
could be good for some kids, but it produces a tight bond that becomes a bit
dysfunctional. For some robust, politically-oriented, artistic, or busy families
who don't want to be involved at all, it may be appropriate. Since you will have
the same teacher for more than one year, rapport is absolutely critical. -

Leeds Waldorf School

"A campaign for a new school in Leeds
22nd April 2012

Since applying to the DfE in February 2012 to open a new school as part of the
Government's Free Schools programme, we have been invited to interview by the
DfE to present our case in detail.

This interview will take place some time in May 2012. We hope a final decision
will be made by the DfE some time in July or August 2012."

And from Alicia's blog we can read the inside story:\

Leeds Steiner Parent
April 24, 2012 1:04 am

Hi – a very interesting post! This really hit a nerve here as my partner and I
are actually familiar with both Leeds Steiner Initiative and Jim Wild. Sorry for
the length of this post, please bear with me…

Our child is a former pupil of the Leeds Steiner kindergarten. Our story is not
unique, and from what I have read, I would say it is actually quite common.

Steiner seemed to be the perfect antidote to all our misgivings about mainstream
education. We fell in love with the kindergarten and its open and unbiased ethos
for developing confidence, creativity, compassion and intellect. Our hopes that
the Leeds free-school would be open by the time our child finished kindergarten
also gave us hopes of a continuous Steiner education with glowing qualifications
by the end of it.

We attended open days and festivals, had personal meetings with the staff, went
to Parent and Toddler groups, then enrolled in the kindergarten. We became
involved in volunteering, fundraising and support of the proposed Leeds Steiner
School. There was never any mention of anthroposophy at any stage, and as we
weren't even aware of it we never even knew to ask about it.

After a few successful terms at kindergarten, we stumbled onto some online
information about anthroposophy, and how it permeates every fibre of Steiner
schooling. Although it came as a real shock to us, it certainly explained a few
things. Everything in fact, and so obvious was the explanation that we actually
felt foolish for not suspecting anything sooner.

We continued with an enormous amount of research, reading just about everything
we could find on the subject, from `official' sources and philosophical
teachings to independent accounts, and those of pupils/parents/teachers with
first hand experience. We found out about the practices, their explanations, and
significantly, their purpose.

When seeing things in this different light, the picture became startlingly
clear. Nothing that we encountered within the kindergarten was incidental or
accidental or done on a whim or against the book – small things that seemed to
bear no significance suddenly made perfect sense – every detail of the
experience had been designed and executed to open the senses and heighten the
effectiveness of the anthroposophy influence. Even Steiner's delayed literacy
practice – the same as the admired European academic model – or so we thought –
turned out to have very different motives altogether.

Reinterpreting some advice we had been given for the home (in the interest of
our child's creative development), seemed to suggest other agendas, and
relationships that we were encouraged to build within the Steiner community
hinted at strategic manoeuvres to make or break inter-group factions.

Re-reading the literature we received in the beginning, with the benefit of
hindsight, was a fascinating exercise – it contained nothing which could alert
even the sharpest of senses to anything outlandish, and yet information about
the school's actual agenda was really there, hidden in euphemisms and between
the lines.

We likened the whole experience to a vegetarian discovering that what they had
been told was soya, was actually meat all along.

We desperately wanted to speak out, but we didn't know which parents were aware,
and which weren't. Caught between inciting a witch-hunt on one side and breaking
other families' dreams on the other, we felt completely paralysed. Needless to
say, an overwhelming sense of isolation and distrust swallowed us up, and to get
out was the only way we felt we could go. It was heartbreaking to resigning from
our warm and loving extended family, and although we aimed a good deal of blame
at ourselves, the feeling of betrayal and manipulation by some of our most
trusted family members was too much to stomach.

We consider ourselves to be broad-minded and spiritually open people, and
ironically, discovery of the anthroposophical teachings themselves weren't
actually the main problem for us – the issue was the concealment, the deception,
and mostly, the conditioning of our child in ways which we had neither knowledge
of, nor consented to. Whatever the area, whatever the outcome, this is entirely
irresponsible and unacceptable, and it was for this reason above all that we had
to withdraw.

A few years ago my partner and I were the victims of a long-standing deception,
at the hands of someone very close and trusted. It devastated our lives
emotionally and financially, and the post-traumatic effects still haunt us
almost daily. The series of events and the shock, disbelief, humiliation,
betrayal, dismay and anger we have felt in our experience with Steiner were
remarkably similar.

Had we read a comment such as Jan Rush's puzzling `"No Steiner values" claim
before our `discovery', we would have been deeply concerned that the school we
were investing in wasn't being based on the principles we wanted.
`Post-discovery', it is just as upsetting to read, and although it is now no
surprise, it is still a great disappointment to see that a newly proposed place
of learning in Leeds, however competent the education turns out to be, will be
built on a foundation of deception, manipulation, remorselessness and dangerous
means of self-preservation. There should simply be no place for these in

Coming back to the meat analogy, it wouldn't be possible these days for food
producers to trade under such clandestine and deceptive methods, and food
standards agencies enforce their legislation to give protection from potential
abusers. The same can be said for all industries – tobacco, alcohol, healthcare,
motoring, travel, leisure, cosmetics, consumer goods, financial, property, civil
service and, tellingly, mainstream education.

It is imperative now that the very highest education authorities intervene here,
and under no uncertain terms ensure that all Steiner establishments publish full
and precise disclosure of their beliefs and intentions. It is paramount that the
uninformed and unsuspecting are given protection. Personally, we count ourselves
among the lucky ones. The number of victims this cover-up has claimed over the
past 90-odd years of Steiner schooling doesn't bear thinking about, but in these
times of the nanny-state, litigation, think-tanks and watch-dogs, it is almost
inconceivable that this problem can still exist.

Lake Champlain Waldorf School - Reviews by Parents

 RACIST TEACHER Merrily Lovell - at Lake Champlain Waldorf School!!!

Merrily Lovell

Biology and Math

Ms. Lovell came to LCWHS in 2010 after many years of teaching Biology at Highland Hall Waldorf High School in Northridge, California. She completed a Waldorf High School Science teacher training in England in 1996. Before that was a class teacher at Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, NH, completed her Waldorf Teaching Certificate at Antioch/New England graduate school, and completed a Masters of Science in Teaching Biology from Antioch/New England. She is thrilled to be living in Vermont again, to be living near her grandchildren (who go to LCWS) and other relatives, and to be teaching part time at the high school. She enjoys the refreshing, earthy atmosphere and the environmental consciousness of this school, and warmth, interest and engagement in learning of the students in the high school.

You'll remember Merrily taught my kids that "the blood of people from Europe is more evolved than the blood of people from Africa and Asia" - and that kicked off a lot of activity on my blog:

and was posted to many newspapers and blogs:

And many more... And now Merrily is teaching biology at Lake Champlain.  Hasn't Merrily done ENOUGH for Waldorf education already?

Reviewed on 09/18/2008

I had great hopes at Waldorf for our two children. Unfortunately, while I think
the pedagogy is to be admired (lots of hands on art, music, nature), etc.,
theory and practice often differ.

It's a lovely idea to have the same teacher through all grades, but my
experience is that the teachers were not qualified to teach some of the more
rigorous courses at the 6th, 7th & 8th grades such as physics, anatomy, upper
level mathematics, and writing. In fact, teachers that were not Steiner trained
filled in.

I also found the lack of supervision on the grounds and on trips (including
foreign trips) to be very disturbing. The woods are not as benign as one would
imagine - as one student who fell through the ice into the river one year would
know. When we were there, students were allowed to run willy-nilly and teachers
were not aware when conflicts and bullying occurred.

And, as a minor irritation, I did find a certain amount of hypocrisy. I had
maintained a TV free household and looked forward delaying the exposure of some
information to my children. I got the impression that as long as one paid the
hefty tuition, no one would comment on what families let their children view or
listen to, or how they repeated it at school.

Additionally, there is (to me) a club mentality. If you can afford to devote
extra time to the school (because both parents don't need to work or have very
flexibile schedules) then you definitely earn "brownie points" for yourself and
your children from the community leaders.

I very much approve of the Steiner methods of teaching (even as I disagree w/
anthroposophy), but I felt the LCWS was imbued w/ varying agendas other than
education and community building.

Posted May 14, 2012
The pros: a lovely, holistic, arts-based education that integrates intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and artistic skills. The cons: an extremely dogmatic approach to education (if Rudolph Steiner didn't say it nearly a century ago, they won't do it now) that effectively ignores the needs of academically and intellectually gifted children. While our children loved the arts education, handwork, and ample movement time, they complained of boredom academically and felt a palpable lack of recognition/validation from their teachers. Teachers also have absolute authority here, and almost no student input/autonomy is allowed. The curriculum is inflexible, and students get little opportunity to explore ideas or facts that are not explicitly detailed by the teacher. (Those lovely hand-written textbooks each child writes are full of text and drawings that mimic the teacher's work almost verbatim.) The lack of clear authority in the school can also be a problem (the school is governed not by a single director, but by a College of Teachers). The buck, apparently, stops nowhere. This school is a good fit for students (and parents) who don't ask too many questions about the pedagogy.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 16, 2012
The administration here is not very nice. I was not impressed and will not send
my children here.

Posted June 29, 2011
I went to this school from 1st-8th grade. I switched from there to go to a
public high school. Let me tell you why. When I reached the 7th grade I started
feeling like I was falling behind the public schoolers academically. So I took
some test and yes, in fact I was behind. The teachers do not teach math very
well, they never stress how important it is to do your homework. They give you
NO preparation for college or even high school. Once I switched it was hard to
adapt because I didn't have the work ethics, study habits, or ideas that
homework needed to be done. Other Facts: There is not enough funding for a tech
department meaning no technical oriented classes such as design. There is no
real auditorium. The basketball court is about 1/4th the size it should be. The
dress code is way to strict. You don't get the feel that teachers are there when
you need them. It is impossible to fail a class. (People need to know that there
can be failures in life!) I honestly find the public school pressure atmosphere
more successful. I will feel sorry for the students enrolled at LCWS and LCWHS
when they go on to college. They will not have the skills to have a successful
college career. (—Submitted by a student)

Posted November 5, 2008
This school does not provide a very good education, it teaches very pointless
'skills' like knitting, woodworking, eurythmy and other meaningless things. The
faculty is many times inexperienced and many do not know how to relate to
students and are often very insensitive. There are some good teachers however
and some of the teaching is satisfactory but overall it is a poor school.
—Submitted by a student

Follow up:

It appears Lake Champlain Waldorf school is in need of a science teacher:

High School Math and Science Teacher

The Lake Champlain Waldorf School is accepting applications for a High School Math and Science teacher for the 2012-13 school year. We are seeking a dynamic and experienced teacher with Waldorf teacher training to teach physics and upper level high school math, including calculus. A complete job description is available upon request.

Well, have I got a science teacher for YOU?  Merrily Lovell, of course.  She's PERFECT for your school... having left Highland Hall recently, she has moved TO YOUR AREA.   I don't know too much about her math skills, but as a science teacher, she will push intelligent design and racism as if it's scientific fact.  And after all, isn't that what Waldorf schools do?  I think we need to keep an eye on Lake Champlain's science department.

UPDATE:  Read the top of the blog... I sure CALLED IT!

Tamarack Waldorf School - Reviews by Parents\

Some reviews are right to the point:

Posted February 2, 2012
We have withdrawn our children because they were not safe at school - in the
school or on the playground. —Submitted by a parent

Posted May 12, 2011
Very upsetting experience, minimal supervision at recess, violence is tolerated
and the needs of bullying children seem to take priority. Though good things are
present, ineptitude and disorganization lead to a "Lord of the Flies" type
atmosphere. Very expensive and dissapointing experience. —Submitted by a parent

Posted February 1, 2011
After my eagerness to enroll my child in Tamarack for K4, I was very displeased
with how things turned out. Supposedly my child had a temper tantrum problem,
however the K4 teacher waited a month before telling me anything about the
problem, even though she said it existed from the beginning. By that point it
was completely out of her control but she expected me, as a full-time working
parent to commit to an on-call schedule and pick my child up whenever they
called and said she'd gotten to be too much. Additionally, she placed labels on
my child like "special-needs" and stated that she made "cerebal-palsy like
movements" and was just completely out of control. I am 100% for working with
teachers to do what is best for our children, but not ok with a teacher who is
quick to label a child before she has even attempted to work with the parents.
And that doesn't mean waiting a month before trying to do so. I am sure Tamarack
is an excellent school for grades 1-8, and wish we could have continued, but our
start was less than positive.
—Submitted by a parent

October 04, 2011
horrible school. would rather walk infront of a moving train than send my
childre here, I graduated from this school and have nothing good to say about
their lack of teaching skills.

and one by someone who was fortunate enough to get out quickly:\

janhallow 10/04/2011
never go here!

never go here! run away as fast as you can. this place is run by pot smoking
hippies. my son went for a week and we will never ever come back

Joined 7 months ago
October 04, 2011
horrible school. would rather walk infront of a moving train than send my childre here, I graduated from this school and have nothing good to say about their lack of teaching skills.

HIGHLAND HALL Waldorf school Reviews - by Parents - UPDATED

I've reviewed Highland Hall extensively, but here are more RECENT reviews from
other parents and teachers... notice, very little has changed in all these

seems many Waldorf schools and charters start off with a beautiful dream but in reality, the success of the school is really depends on the ethical and emotional maturity of the Administration & teachers. Highly subjective whether or not you are blessed with one of the Great teachers or someone who hasn't worked out their issues and you're supposed to 'trust' and 'let go...' we had a very rude awakening... Public school seems so stable and healthy now after the dysfunction we encountered. Can NOT recommend.
added: 05/09/2012

Posted September 16, 2010
Waldorf education can be an amazing thing, but Highland Hall is a very poor
example of a Waldorf school. There are very real reasons this school is
under-enrolled, has no waiting lists, and often turns over 20% of its children a
year. There is no functioning leadership. Teacher quality is uneven. Most
crucially, Highland Hall lacks integrity, their mission statement a hollow
promise gutted by fear and money. Look elsewhere. —Submitted by a parent

Posted June 16, 2010
My 3 children did not feel they learned any basic curriculum. Knitting, art and
woodworking are great, but math, science, english, history are weak. Many of
their high school students don't get into college. We left because our children
were bored. —Submitted by a parent

Posted May 15, 2009
My daughter attended HH for a year and enjoyed what they had to offer at the
preschool age. However, she would come home and need to run and jump all over
the place. Some kids just need to run. I like the Waldorf philosophy but I also
feel times are changing and in order to keep a realistic perspective on our
world, the media is a huge part of it. And being a psych major, I have learned
that children feel safe when they can understand parts of their environment. Not
keeping them in a bubble right smack in the middle of a thriving city. Plus
parents have an imperialistic attitude at HH. The love and respect for nature
and life should be given to all, not just those who can afford it. —Submitted by
a parent

Posted April 21, 2009
My son was there for a year and didn't learn a thing. We changed schools the
following year to an more challenging academic setting. He had a lot of remedial
work that he had to do the following year just to catch up to his peers. The
teachers at Highland Hall are very nurturing and loving, however, the kids need
more mental stimulation. I don't agree with their philosophy (actually Rudolf
Steiner's) of delaying academics till the late elementary/jr. high years. My
feeling is that either you're a Waldorf person or you're not, there's no middle
ground. It turned out that my son had dyslexia, which had gone undetected as his
class was not performing at grade level in reading or writing. He did benefit
however, from having such a caring, wonderful teacher. The campus has an
expansive park-like feel to it and is beautiful. —Submitted by a parent

June 27, 2008
My child loved her kindergarten teachers but by 2nd grade became frustrated with
the repetition of form drawing and the weirdness of the eurythmy class. She is
now in a charter school that is equally relaxed (no grades, no tests, no
homework) but is more academically stimulating and inspiring. At Waldorf, every
child works at the same pace, which is usually dictated by the children who
struggle the most.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 25, 2007
If your child has any learning difficulties, this school is ideal for allowing
them to work without enormous pressure. If your child is academically gifted,
this school will not be a good fit. There is a strong anti-intellectualism from
First thru 12th grade.
—Submitted by Anna J., a parent

Posted June 25, 2007
Adjusting to a traditional school revealed that my child was performing in every
area below grade level. It took her a year to catch up, and we regret having not
pulled her out before First grade. Although the campus appears serene and
attractive, the lack of transparency in the curriculum is a serious problem.
—Submitted by Dorothy, a parent

Posted October 14, 2006
Excellent kindergarten with our particular teacher; however, we had the very
opposite experience in middle school; and we were so unimpressed by the time our
child reached 8th grade that our child begged us to allow her to switch to a
more traditional high school.
—Submitted by Judy, a parent

Posted October 13, 2006
Three children attended; the oldest had a great experience from k-8; our second
child had a series of terrible teachers. The youngest child had a great
kindergarten experience. The school has no ability to constructively address
parents concerns —Submitted by a parent

Posted October 13, 2006
In spite of the beautifuyl appearance, it feels like a cult. There are no
academics standards. —Submitted by a former STUDENT

Posted March 11, 2006
As the name states, this is a Waldorf school, which is a very definite thing.
For some, it is perfect, for some not such a good fit. That is the first thing a
prospective parent needs to research. One distinctive aspect of Waldorf schools
is there is not a 'principal'. In the event of a problem, this can be an issue.
We often felt we had no one to turn to for action on our concerns. Academically,
we found Highland Hall on a very different page than other private schools in
the area. Our children left with way above average vocabularies, and below level
skills in concrete areas such as spelling and basic math facts. —Submitted by a

Posted February 28, 2005
The campus of Highland Hall Waldorf school is beautiful - there are big
playgrounds separate for the kindergarten, grades 1-3, and then 3-6. The
curriculum is very soul based, not academic - at least not academic enough for
my children. My 2nd grader got 'bored' there, and wanted to go to a 'real'
school - so we switched her to a public charter school. —Submitted by a parent

Anush ‎ - Jan 25, 2011
This place is a joke 4 years like bob says unless you start in 1st grade forget
it,you will always be an outsider,a bunch of spoiled rich kids who also infuse
the place with drugs ,you may be better of at another school ,save your money .

Paolo ‎ - Oct 23, 2010
Went here for 3 years of my life. Unless you're in the Waldorf system from 1st
grade up you will not integrate well into their education system. A bogus
education belief based on creating your own books, if you're child isn't an
artist, or is coming in from public school. Forget it, spend your 14000
somewhere else\

Our 3 children attended over 12 years and despite the beauty of the campus - the
school has no transparent system for problem solving serious issues. Teachers
seem defensive and intolerant of parents asking questions. The teachers police
each other and there is no advocate for the parents or students who might have a
legitimate concern about a teacher's conduct. Students can be expelled, without
any warning, if the teacher does not like their parent, even if the student has
never done anything wrong. This is not written down anywhere, but it has
happened several times in the last few years. Each time a perfectly cooperative
child is expelled or not allowed to re-enroll because the teacher didn't like
the child's parents, it sends a frightening message to the entire community to
not question the teacher's authority or your child will be punished.

Parents are not allowed to question the teacher's decisions in the elementary
grades. Discipline is inconsistent - often the teachers seem excessively
punitive. This education appeals to students/families who prefer an
anti-intellectual curriculum, with a spiritual agenda inspired by Rudolph
Steiner. There is no geniune open forum to express concern about classroom
issues, bullying, etc., or to question the unusual methods used to teach. - A.
Scemema (student)

Waldorf Schools - General Reviews,2562,1-17518-5152-41515-\

Allows bullies
Review Rating:
"helpful" 2 of 4 people found this review to be helpful
Review contributed by:
A visitor on Oct 24, 2010 10:56:00AM
Age(s) of your child/children? 2
What do you/your child like/dislike most about this alternative to public
school? - Good bread and soup. Bully allowed full range in the class. A definite
weirdness about the class, and the teachers.
Do you have any other comments or suggestions? - If you send your child here,
watch carefully. The teacher will not look out for your child at all, and
believes that children should "find their souls". Therefore, if your child gets
beaten up in front of everyone (as mine did), the teacher will not only ignore
it, but she will applaud the bully.

Get informed, then decide....
Review Rating:
"very helpful" 35 of 40 people found this review to be helpful
Review contributed by:
A visitor on May 08, 2004 05:46:00PM
Age(s) of your child/children? - 5, 8
What do you/your child like/dislike most about this alternative to public
school? - Seems like most parents do not know what they are getting their kids
Do you have any other comments or suggestions?
For many years our family was part of a Waldorf Community. I was there often,
helping with classes, field trips, meetings, fairs, etc. I knew nothing of
Anthroposophy before we joined and was told it was not in the school. I
gradually realized that this is the driving force behind Waldorf Education. I
started to learn and read and ask questions. I spent countless hours on the
Internet and even spent some time at the PLANS site and their Critics List -
just reading and learning. At that time, although I knew something was not quite
right at the school I was not ready to throw in the towel. This was the only
school our kids knew and we wanted it to work. One day the bubble popped.

After years of wanting to believe in this community and trying to help solve
some of the problems the school encountered our family was hit between the eyes
by an Anthroposophical 2x4 and the pain was intense. A disturbing incident
occurred in the school which required a quick resolution. The matter had to be
dealt with and it was not. Many parents pulled their children from the school. I
honestly believe the lack of accountability has to do with a version of karma. I
was forced to see the school in a totally different light. This realization
hurt. The groupthink of some was sad to see - these were members of our
community. I was astounded. We had no choice but to pull our children. We were
not the only ones to leave. I spent some time phoning other families who had
left over the years. I found myself suddenly wondering why I had not contacted
them earlier...just to see how they were doing? Strange - we had all been quite
close a few years earlier.

The words I heard from ex-Waldorf families to describe how they felt about
Waldorf was... "Cult". These old friends - ex-community members, were glad to
see us out of the community. They are good people. I came back to PLANS and the
Critics List on the Internet with a different perspective - suddenly these folks
were not (as I had previously thought) just out to get Waldorf. They were well
read on the subject and felt a need to vent and to help. While I do not agree
with every critic of Waldorf Education on every topic I now completely
understand the essence of Waldorf Education. As painful as it was to leave I am
so very relieved to have done so. My children are doing well. We did not have
one inquiry from the school as to our children's well being. And still I have
nothing against Anthroposophy or Waldorf Education for those who understand and
choose this very religious/occult based education. Unfortunately, Waldorf
Education promotes itself in a misleading manner. This accounts for many painful

My children are adapting well to their new situation. It takes time but they
want nothing to do with the old school. While some of our Waldorf experience was
good (knitting, baking, etc.) the fundamental essence of Waldorf is steeped in
occultism, mysticism, karma and (re) incarnation. This is not what I was led to
believe prior to enrolling our children. I understand this now. If I had known
this before we would not have joined.

I write this testimonial anonymously for a simple reason. When I expressed my
serious concerns - through the appropriate channels to the school - a teacher
threatened me with a lawsuit. What I had asked for is a meeting. I was ignored.
Instead, many of us pulled our children. This matter is not resolved and I am
considering my options. I was advised to post this anonymously. I have since
learned that the accountability problem we experienced is quite common within
the Waldorf movement. I have met many parents with similar stories from other
schools. If you join a Waldorf school do not expect accountability. It is a case
of buyer beware. You can expect a disturbing version of karma. I write this now
for no other reason than to warn prospective parents before they get involved in
something they do not understand. There is much more to Waldorf than that which
appears on the surface. Research Waldorf Education from every angle BEFORE you
enrol your children. Please.

PK: I loved this part: "I came back to PLANS and the Critics List on the
Internet with a different perspective - suddenly these folks were not (as I had
previously thought) just out to get Waldorf. They were well read on the subject
and felt a need to vent and to help. "


Waldorf School of Orange County - Reviews by Parents

Let's start again today shall we? Here comes Waldorf of Orange County... again,
heavy influence from Highland Hall's WISC program. Often, parents come into
Waldorf schools expecting the "image" WALDORF has sold them... they don't get
that here either.

Posted March 15, 2012
Waldorf education standards are amazing when taught in the right way. Meant to
embrace the individual strengths of a child, soften the focus on weaknesses &
provide a place of compassion, free of judgment. Waldorf School of O.C. has
translated that in to allowing the kids to express themselves in whatever manner
the child sees fit, with little social/emotional guidance. Kids threaten others
& act in cruel ways; allowed to express themselves at the expense of others.
Affects learning for those who need a stable, creative & caring place to be.
Education level is behind what it used to be. Class sizes range 30+. Kids
capable of more fall behind; can t concentrate w/surrounding chaos/not given the
attention needed. Specialty subjects seem perfection focused. Kids who aren t at
the same level as others sit out of orchestra, unable to participate with the
group & aren t provided with anyone to help them progress. Little to no
parent/teacher communication. Can t say this about every teacher, only what my
child has experienced. Have the same teacher/class 1st - 8th grade, so be
thorough when interviewing & spend time in the class. No community
garden/physical labor is not focused on
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 11, 2011
This Waldorf is not one of the better Waldorfs in the nation. Our children have
one good teacher and one unexperienced teacher. The festivals and curriculum are
Waldorf but this school lacks social discipline and this shows up in the
students social interactions with each other, which are often aggressive.
Waldorf students around the world are known for being confident, compassionate
people who are able to help others in the world. Too much unwarranted confidence
at this school and not enough intelligent compassion. Many grades teachers are
too new and don't have enough Waldorf training to apply this education properly.
Emphasizing the whole child approach would work better here if the teachers had
the tools, but they are lacking. New children coming from other schools in the
grades may have a very hard time assimilating into the culture. Really interview
the teacher and parents before deciding. The new high school seems promising
with many new and experienced teachers. If this school could work on improving
their students and teachers social skills, it could be promising and possibly
worth the tuition. —Submitted by a parent

Posted April 27, 2011
I have been with the school, as a parent and teacher for 7 years. KI can tell
you without hesitation that the education at Waldorf Orange County is below what
you would get at a good public school. Yes, the arts are great. Yes, the
festivals are pretty. But, is that what we are paying for? Fifth graders who
can't compose a coherant paragraph? The majority of 8th graders who can't do
algebra? Do not be blinded by the surface beauty, the underbelly is not pretty!!
There is no administration. There is no consistency in the education. You are
rolling the dice with your child's future by enrolling them in Waldorf.
Beware!!! —Submitted by a parent

The last review gave the perfect "elevator speech" for Waldorf with this ominous
warning ... "You are rolling the dice with your child's future by enrolling them
in Waldorf. Beware!!!"

Cedar Springs Waldorf School - bad conDUCT

Here's another Waldorf duct-taping incident on record now. This one is only

I have a problem when a teacher(now fired) uses duct tape on my sons mouth to
keep him quiet. There are other methods.

Hmmm... Didn't our friend Patrice Maynard (mentor to Claire McConnell, the
famous duct-taping Waldorf teacher) start teaching at the Waldorf Institute of
Southern California recently? Coincidence?


Davis Waldorf School Reviews - by Parents\

After leaving this school and having my kids tested, I would never go back
again. You think your paying to give your kids a head start while passing on the
love of learning, come to find out 6 years latter your really crippling them in
"this" program. (Test scores showed, child three years behind due to lack of
instruction. When child was instructed the scores jumped two grade levels in a 6
month period.)
Davis has incredible public schools, that help children excel academically and
have a lot of the same feel as this place, once did.
Check out one great school, Patwin.

Posted August 2, 2011
Our child spent four years at this school. After a few positive experiences in
the beginning, we had a miserable time at this school. Our child was bullied,
subjected to hate speech, beaten by a bully while being held by the bully's
sidekick. The teacher had zero previous teaching experience, pigeon-holed
children and treated all according to what she thought she "knew" about them as
though she had some special psychological insight into their karma. The teacher
was a disaster on the level of personal interaction and in terms of academics.
The principal is in a position of doling out financial favors to members of the
school board and therefore, rules supreme without any meaningful supervision,
and acts arbitrarily. Extremely hurtful environment and academically a disaster.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 5, 2011
Horrible experience. My son came from a very bad experience in the Davis School
system and transferred to Davis Waldorf in November. He said goodbye to his
teacher in June and in July we received a termination letter about his
enrollment. We did not receive any contact prior to this letter. I contacted the
office but they did not respond at all. My son has now been diagnosed with high
functioning autism and could have used the support of this school but they
dropped him as fast as they could after taking our tuition money.
—Submitted by a parent

Wow! It looks like the sudden attention to the Waldorf school reviews is
prompting parents to make their voices heard. This review appeared on the Davis
Waldorf School board within the last few minutes:\

Posted today
Davis Waldorf has been a true disappointment. After a few years it has become
clear that it is not simply a school with an emphasis on the Arts. Though almost
never mentioned the school is founded on the philosophy of one Rudolf Steiner
(labelled an educator but had no credentials), called Anthroposophy. This theory
is almost never mentioned but forms the basis for everything which goes on at
the school. Anthroposophy is an esoteric philosophy which incorporates karma,
racial hierarchies, categorizing children into the four temperaments, and plenty
of other Anthro nonsense. Children are encouraged to look back into antiquity
rather than modern knowledge for answers. They are taught the ancient 4 element
theory is fact, that myths and stories are fact. They are not taught to read
until at least 7 years old. Parents are told this is to avoid rushing education.
The reality is that Anthroposophy teaches that a child does not incarnate into
their Astral body until adult teeth form, this happens around the age of 7, that
only once the Astral body has fully incarnated can any intellectual faculty be
exercised. This education is not right for my children. Do you feel it's right
for yours? —Submitted by a parent