Blue Man School Blues

The Blue School website announces that “our mission is to cultivate creative, joyful and compassionate inquirers who use courageous and innovative thinking to build a harmonious and sustainable world”. Absent in that mission statement is any mention of teaching reading or writing or any other basic skills, so why are parents of Blue School students upset that their children can’t read?

Established by the founders of the successful and entertaining Blue Man Group, the Blue School was to be a new type of school that would “remove the kinds of educational practices that we believe are not working so well and amp up the best practices and innovations that we believe have great promise”. It seems teaching children to read was determined to be a practice that was not working so well.

Angry parents are pulling their children out of the expensive $32K-per-year private school because their kids are barely able to read and they are bored. The school’s curriculum is decided by the kindergarten-to-third-grade students and there are no books, no tests, and no set arrival time. What could possibly go wrong?

It is hard to find sympathy for parents eager to spend a ton of money on an untried, “progressive” school established by a Vegas act wanting to “create something the world has never seen” and “have a good time doing it”. It is, however, easy to feel sorry for the kids who now have to make up the lost time that was wasted in a “nurturing environment” clueless about educating.

Kids do not get to choose their parents and shouldn’t get to choose their curriculum in first grade either. Perhaps the parents learned more from this Blue School experience than the kids did. We can only hope they did – for the kids’ sake.

David J. Hentosh

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