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Koch family to open unconventional private school in Wichita

— Two members of the Koch family are financing a new private school in Kansas that will incorporate aspects of the "Maker movement" and other education innovations.

Chase and Annie Koch are opening a new pre-K-through-12th-grade school on Wichita State University's campus. The couple are related to Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch, the Wichita Eagle reported . Chase is Charles' son and Annie his daughter-in-law.

The school, called Wonder, is scheduled to open for preschool and elementary-age children in September. Middle- and high-school programs are expected to be phased in over time.

"You start to realize, 'Actually, my kids spend more time at school than they spend with me,'" said Annie Koch, 33. "And so, being able to bring what we see as the best of what's out there to them ... I couldn't be more excited."

Zach Lahn is partner and co-founder of the project. Lahn was the former state director for Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-backed conservative political advocacy group.

"We're not inventors. We're just parent catalysts," said Lahn, 31.

At Wonder, students will be grouped into multi-age studios instead of traditional grade levels as part of a mastery-based approach. There also won't be any teachers, but rather "guides" and "coaches," Lahn said.

"We think that children are not challenged to the fullest extent that they could be right now," he said. "We want to challenge them to take on new tasks and greater ownership over what they're doing."

There also won't be traditional grades, report cards or homework, Koch said.

"We think there's so much value in spending time with your family, having free time, playing," she said. "We really want to preserve that for the kids."

The lease agreement between Wonder and the Wichita State Innovation Alliance says that total launch costs are estimated at about $1.5 million, which includes renovations and equipment. Tuition for elementary-age children will be $10,000 a year.

Comments

Daniel Kennamore

Sounds like a good way to not only waste $10k a year but also cripple your kid's development.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

And I'm real sure kids with learning disabilities or behavioral issues need not apply. Wonder if they will at least do a background check on their "guides".

1 week, 6 days ago

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Bob Summers

I am guessing the students will be able to break the worldwide top twenty in reading, math and science proficiencies as government inculcation students cannot.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Of course they will. The school will be free to only have the best of the best students. If they aren't performing they can be asked to leave.

Or they will go bankrupt in a couple of years. Of course, if they aren't hiring professionals, then they can pay them minimum wage, and maybe they can make a profit.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Richard Neuschafer

The Koch's have already brainwashed babbling, bumbling Bob above so why brainwash kids, too. Pull those IQs down says the Kochs. They make great followers.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Gary Stussie

"Brainwashed Students" ... not happening in our centers of higher learning:

https://www.campusreform.org/

Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips talked to students at New York City's John Jay College, reading them quotes from Trump's address.

What the students didn't know was that the lines were actually taken from some of former President Barack Obama's addresses.

The students were given quotes (from Obama) about going after ISIS and countering China on trade. But most were opposed to the ideas when they thought they were coming from Trump.

"He doesn't think before speaking," one responded.

"The way he approaches things is very aggressive," another argued.

"He should mind his own business and focus on America," a student said.

Brainwashing at its finest!

1 week, 6 days ago

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Calvin Anders

The brainwashing in this case comes in the form of deceptively attributing little snippets from one inividual to another and trying to imply that the results are game changing. Of course you can cherry pick some quotes from Obama taken without context and frame them as similar to Trump's rhetoric. After all, Repulican and Democratic worship at the alter of the oligarchy is very similar. It doesn't make Trump any less of a greedy, stupid, dangerous corporatist. And why would you brag about the fact that Obama quotes are being attributed to Trump? Don't the Trump faithful claim that Trump is leaps and bounds better than Obama? Wouldn't the Trump faithful be embarrassed by such misatttribution? Or is this a tacit acknowledgement that Trump is rather dim and uninformed when compaired to his predecessor? I think maybe so.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Gary Stussie

How this for dim and uninformed Calvin?

Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips visited New York University last week to ask students what they thought about President Trump's first official State of the Union address.

The only problem? The speech had not happened yet.

That didn't stop students from condemning Trump's address, with some calling it "offensive" and "ridiculous."

He explained that most colleges only push a liberal ideology, which results in many students holding a negative view of Republicans and conservatism.

"For people that pride themselves on being so open-minded and so tolerant, it was disappointing -- but not surprising -- to see they made up their mind based on rhetoric, based on preconceived ideas about Donald Trump and about the Republican Party, but not actually on facts," Phillips said.

"Greedy, stupid, dangerous corporatist, ...dim and uninformed) ...preconceived ideas?

1 week, 5 days ago

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Bob Reinsch

I hope they fill the place with kids from the surrounding neighborhood.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Richard Heckler

Don't get fooled again ....

Koch dollars are a big factor in the movement to kill public education in favor of for profit schools.

Never forget that behind the scenes the public school system is being attacked by this powerful back door political party. A stench that must be eradicated.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-...

1 week, 5 days ago

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Gary Stussie

No one recognizes Huffington Post as a news source. Aggregation of liberal blogs ... echo chamber for hard left.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Richard Heckler

Having children brainwashed to think like Brownback, Trump, Koch boys, Paul Ryan, too many in the Kansas legislature, too many on capitol hill, The American Legislative Exchange Council, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity and:

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/report/...

http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec...

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/201...

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/...

http://business.time.com/2012/08/09/a...

Who knows the teaching staff may well not be required to have college educations nor teaching certificates ........ according to Sam Brownback.

1 week, 5 days ago

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