It has become apparent that the definition and purpose of microschools has become muddled in this transitional time. Recent news reports cite microschools as “tiny enemies” of teachers unions and public schools.
As microschoolers and microschool advocates since 2008, we have direct insight into the priorities and positioning of microschools, and we would like to make clear the following.
Authentic microschools care very little about what the National Education Association or the public schools are doing. They do not wish to extract profit from the public system. What microschools aim to accomplish—a meaningful learning space truly of the people, by the people and for the people—cannot be achieved within or anywhere near the current system. The grassroots microschool community knew this long ago. Microschooling evolved from homeschooling, not from the desire to disrupt anything already in existence. If disruption is ever a priority, we may set our eyes upon the entrenched yet increasingly fragile private sector, which in exchange for 20, 30, 50 thousand dollars per year in tuition, promises always flashy new facilities and dangles the carrot of a high-price-tag college that will inevitably set students right on track in their “race to nowhere.”
In many ways, authentic microschools exist in a learned-centered vacuum. To accomplish meaningful, child-centered learning while worrying about what the masses are doing is pretty much impossible. Any effort to paint microschools as the enemy is deeply misguided. If there is an enemy clamoring outside the public school gates, it is perhaps the ubiquitous corporations, ed tech start-ups and random education “reformers” who have never served in any capacity in a microschool once again attempting to hijack public schools by hijacking the microschool model.