What does it mean for Desert Star to be a member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education?
As a member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, Desert Star offers the entire Verde Valley a unique approach to K – 8th education tailored to meet the needs of the community it serves.
The Alliance was organized to support and promote publicWaldorf charter education. It brings together a community of schools like ours and strives to make a public Waldorf education available to all. The Alliance also offers administrative and pedagogical guidance and resources to its member schools.
As you may know,all Arizona State Charter Schools are tuition-free, and open to all students just like district schools.The difference between district public schools and charter schools is that charters are able to charttheir own particular approach to educating their students - so long as they meet certain specific criteria which their state requires of them, such as not charging tuition and ensuring students do not experience discrimination in admission, retention or participation.
Charter schools are given freedom to creatively address the developmental needs to their particular population and the culture of the community they serve.
There are many similarities and also some differences between the private and public charter school approach to Waldorf education. From AWSNA, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, and the Allianceshare this statement (from the AWSNA website):
The two organizations are committed to working together to strengthen the integrity and promote the highest quality of education arising out of the insights of Rudolf Steiner through sharing resources, cultivating collegial relationships, and supporting the ongoing development and professionalism of member schools…
In support of the tens of thousands of families whose children attend a school that is a member of either AWSNA or the Alliance, we offer this shared statement to better understand both Waldorf and Public Waldorf Education. Waldorf educators, whether they work in independent schools (AWSNA) or in public/charter schools (Alliance), hold Rudolf Steiner's goal for education to be eloquently expressed in the following quotes:
“The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility - these three forces are the very nerve of education." Rudolf Steiner, Study of Man, (2004, p. 190)
"Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and meaning to their lives.” Rudolf Steiner
You can view a detailed chart comparing both approaches to Waldorf Education, from the AWSNA website.