John Dewey wrote this great sentiment over a century ago:

“What the best and wisest parent wants for his child, that must we want for all the children of the community. Anything less is unlovely, and left unchecked, destroys our democracy.”

I do not begrudge any parent their decision to send their child to a private or religious school, so long as they pay for it themselves. What I object to is when parents choose a private school for its small classes, its experienced faculty, its wonderful curriculum, its great arts programs, and its freedom from standardized testing…..but advocate for something far different for other people’s children.

Instead of fighting to get comparable programs for public schools, they insist that other people’s children should have larger classes, a school day devoted to reading and math, no arts programs, and nonstop testing.

Sandy Kress, the architect of NCLB, is now a lobbyist for Pearson, which won a contract worth nearly $500 million from the state of Texas as the legislature cut the schools’ budget by $5.4 billion.

This comment came from a reader in Texas:

Ms. Ravitch – I found the following as I was researching private schools for my son last night. The first part is a part of the homepage for a primary school affiliated with the middle school that Sandy Kress’ children have attended. The second part includes testimonials from Sandy Kress. I removed his childrens’ names.

Why Paragon for grades 2-5?
• Central Austin Location
• Small class sizes
• Experienced and caring teachers
• Academic challenge
• Daily PE, plus Art, Music, Electives
• Selective admission
• Fully accredited
• No STARR test = more time to learn!
To schedule a visit – contact Headmaster ____________________________________________________

Testimonials for Paragon Prep

Paragon creatively concocts the perfect recipe for bright adolescents: begin with a classically driven curriculum seasoned with open-minded innovation, high moral expectations with a good dose of humor and a hilarious pinch of irreverence. Then add competitive spirit on the field and in the classroom, blended with genuine care so that each student and athlete feels a valued part of the school. But their secret and unique ingredient: the total focus is on the middle schoolers’ needs with the aim to provide the best preparation possible for high school. We as ourselves how is it possible that all this takes place in such a modest building with no aggressive fundraising or fancy bells and whistles. How do they turn out kids with a disciplined work ethic and a passion for learning? Now we know. Our son, _____, comes home everyday with stories of friendship, teamwork, and a mind brimming full of new thoughts. Paragon Prep is one of the smartest decisions we have ever made.
Camille and Sandy Kress
Parents of _____ Kress (Class of _____)
and _____ Kress (Class of _______)