Education: Chaos and Learning: The Free Schools

I want high school report cards to look like this: Playing with Gentle Glass Things—A Computer Magic—A Writing Letters to Those You Love—A Finding out about Fish—A Marcia's Long Blonde Beauty—A + !

So wrote Richard Brautigan in his poem "Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain." In this spirit, growing disenchantment with U.S. public schools has produced a new alternative in virtually every state: small, mostly private "free" schools. Influenced by reformist manifestos like John Holt's How Children Fail, more than 800 of them are now run by...

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