Education: No Bad Boys

The first time Floyd Starr heard the word adoption, he was a little boy and its meaning had to be explained to him. The idea appealed to him. As he grew older, he decided that some day he would adopt some children (though he had a wife and two kids of his own). In 1913, with $60,000 he had inherited, he bought 40 acres of rocky land just outside Albion, Mich, and opened the Starr Commonwealth school. The entrance requirements were the reverse of most prep schools': he wanted no boys of good reputation.

While his first building was being put up,...

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