and to survive,
lies through the Heart,
not the mind.
– Wm. C. Anderson
In frequent discortations with other educators,
I found a highly con-substantial Love of what we call
a relaxed and informal atmosphere,
combined with a real commitment to
If you are old enough, you may actually recall
having teachers who were trusted enough
to make decisions
and conduct the business of counseling,
motivating and teaching children.
these were the good old days!
These were the generations of Educators
that enabled the children of this Nation
to make the United States the envy of other nations.
These teachers empowered us to become
the only remaining true superpower on earth,
more than half the wealth of the World,
while comprising only six percent of its population
and to realize that not locating a Starbucks
could be a significant, Life-altering dilemma.
How does the saying go,
“Only in America”!
We share an abhorrence of those things
that distract children
from academic and thoughtful pursuit.
Their Love of reading meshes beautifully
with our first Love.
We forbid homework
and ask our students instead,
to spend this precious time establishing a Life-time habit
and Love of reading –
with a requirement
that each child read or be read to,
for at least one hour each evening.
As with the Finns,
we believe that overly strict rules do not translate
into dedicated scholars.
We harbor only three rules:
to be kind, to be kind and
to be kind.
And when you think deeply about it,
that covers everything.
Moments that linger in the Heart
excite us now and linger on
in the mind.
Leave the Flowers of your precious Smiles
at the entrance
to each precious moment.
there is no day.
- Suicide is the second-leading cause of death
for older teens and young adults.
- The suicide rate has been increasing from 2007.
- The rate went from 6.8 deaths per 100,000 people to 10.6, according to the CDC report.
A reportTrusted Source
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
shows that the teen suicide rate in the United States
has skyrocketed in recent years.
Suicide was recently ranked as the
second-leading cause of death
for people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old.
Each year, about 7 out of 100,000 young adults
between the ages of 15 and 19
die by suicide each year —
and that number only seems to be growing.
click here to read more
“Goodbye to you my trusted Friend
We’ve known each other since we were nine or ten.
Together we’ve climbed hills and trees
Learned of Love and ABCs
Skinned our Hearts and skinned our knees
Goodbye my friend,
it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky.”
– Terry Jacks
click here to play the song
At the Anderson School
visitors are sometimes mildly shocked
to find such things as: barefoot boys (and girls)
fluttering down the hall
(they really do feel more relaxed and at home this way),
or a child asleep during the school day
(why fight Mother Nature – if you are tired, rest!
After a nap, children are energized
and ready again to learn and play) and a mild,
low-grade level of chaos can naturally prevail.
This is normal behavior for the young
and can become highly productive.
It provides opportunity for the interplay of ideas
and Hopes and Dreams
as kids banter back and forth.
And there are intangibles that result:
the modeling of Creative flux, improved self-esteem
and self-confidence and the intrinsic motivation
generated by the children themselves.
Since our bright students are busy teaching and working
with each other,
the tendency is toward non-stop communication,
as they group themselves according to interests, not age.
Typically, you find a very young scholar teaching older types
and excited to share knowledge.
At our school
students keep the same teachers for many years.
They actually get to know them
and we treat each other like Family.
Are we not really related
in many ways?
We promote self-reliance and autonomous learning,
minimize competition, assail perfectionism,
and a relaxed Ho Ho Ho Home-like atmosphere,
remove the harmful
and potentially devastating emphasis upon grades
(no grades or report cards are provided –
scholars are expected to perform at a mastery level of 90%
without time constraints)
we eliminate homework.
As educators, we have had plenty of time during the day
to get the job done.
Think about it!
Children NEED to be involved in many
after school activities,
Scouting (my favorite), Golf, Karate, Taekwondo
baseball, piano lessons, and Choir.
The list goes on and on.
A great after school activity
helps children on many levels.
Your child builds community connections,
and makes a positive impact on something
that’s important to him or her..
should be an essential part
of every child’s development.
A great song can light up their Hearts,
encourage them to move around and dance,
and help instill a sense of confidence.
We can enjoy the benefits of music
from the moment we are born,
if we are pestering our parents
asking for help with things like
that one parent never took
and the other one forgot
And parents are essentially not qualified to teach at Home
and do not have the time or patience.
They worked hard all day
and the boss did not assign them
Parents would not tolerate this.
They would find another employer.
But your children cannot simply find another teacher.
They are riveted to a desk,
with little Hope of finding the time
they need to do the real work of Kids –
they need to
We also provide the freedom to do such things as:
progress at your own pace,
allow children to prepare their own meals
and dine whenever they like
(some “graze” throughout the day)
and play whenever they complete morning or afternoon assignments
(a few will work all weekend so they may play at school).
This is real Academic Freedom
and allows for the independent use of personal judgment.
We want our children to practice making many, many decisions
while they are young and under our guidance.
will be making every decision regarding their own lives,
and our own lives, and in a few years.
So be very kind to your children, for in the end,
will be all you have left.
And don’t be shocked if your children can’t survive on their own
in the near future,
if you did every thing for them and made their every decision.
They may become so dependent
that they NEVER survive.
Some schools are largely successful
because they truly realize that,
“Less is more”.
To be less demanding equates to more time at home
with Mom and Dad
and more time to play
and this always leads to a more
psychologically healthy person –
someone who really WANTS to go to school the next day
(and more importantly, wants to Live
knows how to
is the intentional promotion of the things
we most value
and the removal of anything
that distracts us from it.”
– Joshua Becker
Children need to be
more relaxed, energized and ready to study,
rather than being burned out, bored, fatigued and more deeply depressed than they will ever say –
which can result in their becoming anxious, obnoxious,
angry, rebellious and unwilling to continue what has evolved
into drudgery and a loathing of going to school.
And when you think about it,
wouldn’t you rebel if you were stressed out,
overly assessed, classified, compared, bored, structured,
and selected and sorted ad nausium.
revolutions have occurred for less –
revolutions of the mind
and of the Family.
We see many children today who are dropping out
socially, emotionally, physically
and in other ways that more frequently become
Is Truth Ever a Lie?
What if you
I have been asked why the educational systems are imploding?
What’s broken and what can we, as parents and educators,
do to fix it?
Essentially, our educational systems are imploding because:
1. Our schools are now devoid of essential academic Feedom,
2. They are saddled with the ineffective and truly oppressive
No Child Left Behind Act and its sinfully negative byproducts and
3. Schools lack the fiery furnace of competition in the free
The solutions are simple but,
in our present static state of mind,
if ever we do decide to act
we know what to do:
We need to provide each student, through their parents,
to purchase their schooling wherever they choose to go.
The natural and highly beneficial effect of competition for this money would produce results similar to every other commodity in the marketplace.
Beautifully crafted, thoughtful and productive products in the form of innovative and dynamic curriculums and remarkable institutions of learning would be engineered by our gifted educators in
competition with each other.
But importantly, regardless of the outcome,
they would serve to please our Parents and Children.
we have become imprisoned
to the precept that government can extrinsically motivate schools and teachers, utilizing the negative bias of assessment and with such harsh and punitive prerogatives as the loss of employment for teachers and administrators, virtually worthless and shameful labels, accusations, inevitably harmful performance evaluations and even the unthinkable closure of entire schools.
Such closures are so severe that one can imagine
less damage being inflicted to a school community
even in time of war.
This punitive, FEAR based system shall never produce overall sustainable positive results,
especially for those children most in need.
This system is far beyond broken.
It poses a very real-time danger to our society.
This obviatedly biased bent toward negative reinforcement
is a conceptualization rejected many years ago
in the study of Child behavior.
Our boat is now sinking
by the bow and no longer in sight of the shore.
We seemingly cannot even identify
the real problems with our schools.
But we act like we do really know who or what is to blame.
So we keep felling the trees all around us
in order to glimpse a sliver of the light of understanding
and do not even know
there is a fragile and endangered forest
all around us.
For our underpaid, overworked and unappreciated Educators
should never have been marked and targeted.
They are not to blame!
And our children should never have been used as pawns
in this unintelligible game.
We now find it virtually impossible to patch our Ship of State,
in light of the large, gaping holes created by FEAR,
a focus upon self-serving and selfish interests
and an inability to locate words such as equitable,
fair or open-minded in any dictionary
to be found in our capitals
of government in Austin or Washington.
What can parents do to help children attain success
and be the best they can be?
if your child is truly suffering
(and can you believe you are paying for this abuse
with your taxes
I recommend removing them from any oppressive and harmful environment immediately
(that means today!).
you may want to take them for refreshments
to a fun place
(they may actually remember having fun).
There you can apologize
for not sheltering them from the storm,
for not protecting them or truly being their advocate
and being there for them when you were needed.
It helps to let a child know you are Human
and make mistakes.
It will also help if you let them know
that you will now and forever more be there for them
and not allow anyone else or any other school
to make them so unhappy and miserable again.
After you wipe the tears from their eyes,
take a moment to wipe away yours.
if your child forgives you, it is in the past.
It is over.
Now you can go forward
and forgive all those who transgressed against your
Just don’t vote for them again.
Have mercy on the next generation.
plan the future.
Let your Child help you.
Explore the many other avenues available
(and there are many).
Remind yourself how thankful we all are
that Thomas Edison’s Mother
removed him from such a school at a very early age.
Now that’s what I call – seeing the Light!
With over 1,100 patents to his name,
we can all be thankful that she removed him from school,
which now enables us to watch a great movie tonight,
with sound and the ability to record it.
A compassionate decision for one deeply Loved child,
has led us all out of the dark and into the light.
Thank you Mrs. Edison!
So just follow her example and start
by stopping the pain.
you will need to examine what happened to our schools
and to your child.
And that is a complex journey fraught with unbelievable intrusions
into the coliseums and colloquiums of academia.
and not so special lawmakers,
intruded into the Sacred spaces of our Children’s classrooms,
their Home away from Home,
assuming they knew more than highly trained
and devoutly dedicated educators
about what your children needed.
When in fact,
teachers were well qualified
and simply needed to be
Lawmakers could have helped
the wonderful, beautiful, caring and ever-giving Teachers
by paying them a decent wage
and providing more money for materials
(many, many teachers have spent their own meager funds
on your children and without you ever aware of it).
But we, as individuals, elected people
who obviously did not know how to educate children,
and much more importantly,
how fragile they are
or how to care for them.
Their pride went before
I fondly remember many years ago my good friend,
who was a State Representative, Homer Dear,
a wonderful and Loving retired school teacher and administrator,
calling to ask what should be done, in my opinion,
My immediate response was mandate relief.
The volumes of dictates from our zealous state agency and the legislature, were so voluminous that no one on this Planet
even knew everything that was required of a school.
He then sponsored a bill to provide such relief.
Naturally, it was defeated.
No one is going to tell the legislature
that much of what they did is actually too much
and leading toward a dastardly day of self-destruction
(this is the impending implosion).
But in essence,
Homer knew what needed to be done.
And now you know.
Simply stated: remove nearly all of the governmental laws, mandates (typically unfunded – thank you), guidelines and regulations relative to education, substantially realign and reduce the size, scope and budget of the state regulatory agency (eliminating well over a billion dollars that funds this unbelievable megalopoliptic and essentially counter – productive enterprise) and get every one, and I mean every one out of the teacher’s way and out of the teacher’s classroom.
On your way out, buy her (or him)
a cup of well-earned coffee.
This can significantly contribute to the academic freedom that Dr. Reed Dawson, a beloved Baylor professor of mine, warned way back in 1973, was perilously close to death.
He was right.
The infamous and highly destructive Texas Assessment of Basic Skills test, and its destructive off-springs (T.E.A.M.S., T.A.K.S., etc.)
was about to be unleashed
upon our unsuspecting and naive populace.
as with all the productive and beneficial benefits that any freedom provides, was about to be targeted and totally destroyed.
And it began with the blunt instrument of institutional sin in 1980.
this oppressive test needs to be abolished
and accompanied by an apology to all of its victims,
and there are many.
after you give back freedom to teachers to teach,
come back in one year,
and you and your child will be well on the road to being Happy.
Trust me, teachers knew what to do all along.
How many years did our educators spend in a College or University preparing to take an oath of poverty,
so he or she could have the Honor of teaching your child?
the teacher can do the job.
Just get everyone out of her (or his) way.
in the successful schools, such as in Finland,
less is more.
And it always has been.
Isn’t that in the Bible?
“Less is more
and more is less.“
– Psalm 37:16-17
must replace the absolute mess that we have today!
By the way,
the highest achieving schools in the entire World,
value exactly this –
Finland sets the example for us again,
in providing roughly EQUAL per-pupil funding.
The gap between the best and worst performing schools in Finland
was the smallest tested.
So what happened to our free enterprise system
and the competitive market place?
the one we preach about from on high in every school in America.
The system that created such wealth for us,
that we have reached record levels of obesity, consumption and waste. Why is the competitive marketplace of our free enterprise system provided an exemption in the marketplace of knowledge?
Do we not yet realize that competition is the primary catalyst for excellence in our economic society,
that it is the engine that drives us
to unsurpassed prosperity?
Or are we not willing to vote for people of courage and conscience or recruit those rare individuals to run for public office who are willing to sacrifice an innate defensiveness and desire for self-serving interests for the sake of what is most precious in our lives –
To date we have not mustered enough courage or votes
to really change
And my fear is that we may never do so!
This boat full of unwilling and highly dependent people who will soon need to have everyone bailing the waters of indifference, and neglect. The perilous sea has already reached the water line
and mighty Casey has struck out.
the game will resume overseas.
What’s that gurgling sound?
Can you even imagine
educators from other countries observing that our system
of public education strives to,
“leave no child behind”
while we post a drop out rate for Fort Worth I. S. D.
of over 45 percent,
according to the
Editorial Projects in Education Resource Center.
Let’s compare that to less than 4 [that’s FOUR] percent
for other countries.
My Dear Friends,
we left half of our children at the starting gate.
And we did not just leave them behind,
we abandoned them with no hope
that they will ever truly flourish and prosper
But, on the bright side,
we meagerly raised the minimum wage
with them in mind,
these lost children will never even be able to sustain
much less impact this system
that has been so neglectful to so many.
And the system we created and perpetuate to this day will,
one day soon,
not be able to support them or their children.
The weight of so much water will cause this listing ship
to topple over.
(Have you ever tried to live on the minimum wage?)
We left many of our children with little hope
that they will ever truly thrive
in our highly competitive economy.
Our focus upon minimum skills for all
has evolved into a minimum wage for many.
Our mediocrity has become merit to us,
And our children did not deserve this!
They are the victims
of our now tired, cowardly, self-centered neglect.
It is a sad commentary
that our fear to change what needs to be changed
is now the driving force
behind the fall of twenty-first century
Dr. William C. Anderson, Co-Director
The Anderson Private School for the Gifted, Talented and Creative
“I Love this post.
My mother, a teacher and the daughter of a teacher who attended segregated public schools in the 1930s and 1940s, chose the private school to which she sent my sisters and I because, she said,
“I could not stand the rigid desks and rows in the public schools.
When I saw kids sprawled out in the halls, talking and laughing,
that was the place I want you kids to go!
I have a hard time believing
that “reformers” don’t notice that the schools for the intellectual and socioeconomic elite are more – not less – free, relaxed and playful.”