Fayemiwo: The free school of Albany says it is “freeing minds”


The Informed Constituent (Albany, NY)
September 1, 2006 | Fayemiwo, Moshood

When Leah Penniman got a job with the Department of Education, MA after graduating from Clark University a few years ago, she had a problem: how to juggle her job responsibilities as a career woman and as a parent. “I wanted to teach and at the same time monitor what my kids are being taught in their school,” she said. Then she heard about the Albany Free School. Without hesitation, she relocated to the Capital Region with her two children.

“The school offers an alternative attraction to the public school. It is an oasis of authenticity in the desert of despair. Teachers and students are honest about what education is supposed to be, and kids learn to be honest with themselves and others,” said Penniman.

The Free school is a different kind of school. No strict timetable, students are not graded, and parents are also qualified to be teachers to their children. Although, many have criticized this as divided loyalty.

The idea of a “free school” began as a dream in the 1940’s to the early 1960’s. …


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