South Carolina

In an earlier post entitled “A Level Playing Field” I wrote this comment…

“Unfortunately I don’t know of any states that have a state approved Montessori program that confers a state Montessori teaching license,…”

Recently I discovered an article online about a statewide Public Montessori coordinator in South Carolina.  I am glad that there is a state making efforts to increase Public Montessori education, and I am uncertain how I feel about the the implication in the first paragraph that the interest in Montessori education results from abysmal graduation rates. 

COLUMBIA – The nation’s only statewide coordinator for Montessori public education says expanding the century-old teaching method in South Carolina could improve learning in a state with the country’s worst high school graduation rate.

Montessori coordinator Ginny Riga believes the one-on-one attention from teachers, in addition to students’ freedom to choose their lessons and whether to work independently or with other classmates, keeps the kids from becoming bored or frustrated.

…Ms. Riga, the former principal of Brockman Elementary, the first public Montessori school in the Columbia area, was named coordinator in February, becoming the second leader to join the state’s new Office of School Choice. The office was created by Superintendent Jim Rex as he attempts to fulfill his campaign promise to improve education, partly by giving parents more options in public schools.

Read the full article.

Ms. Riga’s office maintains a website and offers Montessori training for teachers.  In what ways could AMI seek involvement in this new opportunity for Public Montessori education?  How can teachers in other states encourage a similar state office?

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