Request for Permanent Pencil & Paper Testing in California Goes Forward

pencil and paper clip art

Alliance advocacy recently resulted in a “win” for our members with the California Department of Education.  In March, Membership Chair Betsy Thagard and Waldorf administrators Chris Topham and Nikki Lloyd traveled to Sacramento to ask state officials for a permanent paper and pencil option for state computerized tests for the lower grades of Waldorf charter schools.  CDE officials agreed with the Alliance that computerized testing for younger children conflicts with the mission of Waldorf charter schools and agreed to support our request for a permanent paper test option for grades 3-5.  Since this request must go before several other state government bodies, the Alliance is now working with Eric Premack of the Charter Schools Development Center to make that option a reality.  CDE’s support makes it much more likely that a permanent waiver will be made available to our California member schools.  Stay tuned for future developments!

Reported by Betsy Thagard, Board of Directors

Public Waldorf℠ Education
in the News

Alliance Board

Alliance board and advisory board members gather as President Shanna Mall signs the historic agreement with AWSNA at the George Washington Carver School of Arts & Sciences in Sacramento, CA on March 27, 2015.

On March 27, 2015 the Association for Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education (the Alliance) announced a collaborative licensing agreement, which grants the use of the service mark Public Waldorf to the Alliance.


Together, both organizations are forging a new relationship based on their common foundation and perspective on what is best for children. Jointly their goal is to strengthen Waldorf Education and ensure its availability and accessibility to the next generation.


Waldorf educators, whether they work in independent or in public schools, hold Rudolf Steiner’s goal for education to be eloquently expressed in this quote: “Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and meaning to their lives.” In all of Waldorf Education lives the hope of providing new ideas for cultural and educational renewal. It is with tremendous excitement and hope that both associations look towards a future of working collaboratively in service to the children of North America.


For more information, we share here the text of the Joint Letter that spells out the terms of the license agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding that spells out how AWSNA and the Alliance intend to work together, and a Core Principles document with commentary on how Waldorf education is expressed in public Waldorf charter schools.


We invite you to share our enthusiasm for this new development in our movement for educational renewal!








* Public Waldorf Education is a service mark of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and used pursuant to a license.

Why Limit Screen Time?

Research Supports Limiting Screen Time for Young Children


Recently Patti Connolly and Diana Graber, digital literacy educators at the Journey School in Los Angeles, presented research that supports screen time limitations for young children that may help educators secure a permanent pencil and paper option when taking standardized tests for Public Waldorf Education students in third through fifth grade in California. To read their paper  “Why Limit Screen Time?” 


Request for Permanent Pencil & Paper Testing

in California Goes Forward 


Cyber Civics workshopCyber Cop at Cyber Civics training


To learn more about the Cyber Civics curriculum for middle school students that teaches children how to be ethical, competent, and safe users of technology go to Cyber Wise



A Conversation with Ida Oberman

The Whole Child and Urban Education: A Waldorf Perspective


What do the principles of Public Waldorf Education look like in a racially and culturally diverse inner-city neighborhood school in Oakland, CA?  Read an interview with Ida Oberman, executive director of the Community School for Creative Education, founded in 2010, by Richard Whittaker, from the March 31, 2015 edition of Works & Conversation.


Ida Oberman at schoolSafe Streets for Kids