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Waldorf News

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States weigh turning education funds over to parents: A radical new idea is catching fire across the country

A radical new concept in school choice will come up for vote in at least a half-dozen states from Virginia to Oklahoma in the coming months, as lawmakers consider giving hundreds of thousands of parents the freedom to design a custom education for their children — at taxpayer expense. Twenty-one states already subsidize tuition at private schools through vouchers or tax credits. The new programs promise far more flexibility, but critics fear they could also lead to waste or abuse as taxpayers underwrite do-it-yourself educations with few quality controls. Called Education Savings Accounts, the programs work like this: The state deposits the funds it would have spent educating a given child in public schools into a bank account controlled by his parents. The parents can use those funds — the amount ranges from $5,000 to more than $30,000 a year — to pay for personal tutors, homeschooling workbooks, online classes, sports team fees and many types of therapy, including horseback riding lessons for children with disabilities. They can also spend the money on private school tuition or save some of it for college. ESAs so far exist only in Arizona and Florida, where one family recently sought to use their child’s funds on an “educational vacation” to Europe. (Program administrators, who must approve all expenditures, said no.) But the idea is catching fire. Bills to create the accounts cleared panels last week in the Virginia and Mississippi legislatures. They’re likely to be on the table as well this session in Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and possibly Rhode Island and Tennessee. More »

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Fostering Entrepreneurship in Waldorf Schools Tempus 2015 Conference "Stepping Stones to Entrepreneurship" in Kimberton, PA - March 20 & 21

If we listen to the issues and methods contemporary businesses are addressing; if we hear what business coaches, high level executive coaches and life coaches are saying, we can connect the dots and recognize that today’s leaders need balance, creativity, personal skills, drive, vision, empathy and fortitude. Looking at the national and global trends that are taking place in sustainability and triple bottom line values of people, planet and prosperity, the indicators are pointing to the fact that the future business leaders of tomorrow or even of today requires a lively, integrated combination of creativity, social skills, emotional intelligence and also a world view. Young leaders will need an experience of context about themselves, their community, and the world they live in. These are qualities that Waldorf graduates can, and very often do possess due to the rich, holistic learning experience that the Waldorf curriculum offers. Waldorf school students bring particular qualities that can be useful for the future business and entrepreneurial leadership of today and tomorrow. Yet, unfortunately, most Waldorf schools at the moment largely overlook this potential and do not bring focus to this arena of learning and experience. More »

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90 Years! Congratulations Michael Hall Steiner School in Forest Row, England

We celebrated our 90th birthday today. We are the longest running Steiner Waldorf School in the English speaking world, having started our life in Streatham, London, in 1924. During the Second War the entire school was evacuated to Minehead in Somerset, after which it moved to its present home at Kidbrooke Park, Forest Row. More »

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On My Work in the Kufunda Waldorf Kindergarten in Zimbabwe

When I arrived in Kufunda, a wonderful course on the foundations of Waldorf education was already taking place for 23 women working in Zimbabwe's Waldorf kindergartens. IASWECE had found just the right person in Susan Rubinoff to send to this very special country! She led the women through serious content in a light way and was always interested, cheerful, generous, and open for everything that came from the group. On the fourth morning, Annah Benedicto, the kindergarten teacher from Kufunda, stook up and said the following words: " We are all grateful from our hearts for this course! You have shown us that we are doing our work well. And now we have learned from you, what it means for the children, how it affects them, and how we can do it better. Thank you!" More »

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Waldorf Welcome Here

Three big tour busses pull through the gates of the Fujian Agricultural College. Eager faces first see the manicured greens, bordering the large buildings, filled with mango and palm trees. Bright eyed, tousled headed faces push to the windows As the bus turns the corner and comes to stop before the narrow end of the 3 story concrete rectangle that will be their home for the next two weeks -that is when they’re not hiking in the surrounding mountains or swimming in the Straits of Taiwan. A scramble ensues within the bus, as counselors who hail from locations as diverse as Finland and Inner Mongolia, surge towards the bus to greet campers who seem to swarm from the doors like bees from a hive. Welcome to Waldorf Camp 2014 Fujian Province, PRC, where 100 Chinese children ages 7-16, primarily from large urban centers come together with former Waldorf students and teachers from around the world to connect with the natural world and experience the simple joys of childhood. Waldorf Camp is the vision of world traveling German expatriate Christophe Daniels Jia (nee Jungerman). CD, as he’s usually referred to, is a multicultural communications consultant / market researcher and Waldorf graduate, who moved to back to his wife’s home town of Shanghai in 2006 as a Daimler consultant. He is a man always in motion so it took a seven hour train trip returning to Shanghai to sit down and reflect. More »