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Starting a Free School Around USC by max

March 2, 2011

I’m getting together with other activists to start a ‘free school’ near USC. The idea of the school is to give any one who wants to teach a class or anyone who wants to take a class the freedom to engage each other. The school will be run by anyone who wants to partake and on principles of participatory democracy, giving people direct access to collective decision-making without the hindrances of hierarchy or representation.

In opposition to the kind of education received in a private university like USC or even a public k-12 school, the free school will be based entirely on the principle that people only do what they choose to. There will be no tuition, no grades, no discipline. Readings and papers might be voluntary for a particular class, but not at all necessary.

This project will attempt to empower USC students and community residents to take control of their learning and promote self-knowledge and self-determination. Despite many overtures, USC rarely lives up to its promise of bettering the surrounding community, instead choosing student concerns and expansion over community concerns at every opportunity. In contrast, this school will welcome everyone who wants to be involved on an equal footing.

The above are broad initial ideas of a school to be and I invite anybody interested to email if they want to get involved and help create an institution from the ground up. No real planning has occurred yet and the first meetings discussing planning will likely begin in mid-March and continue through the summer. Hopefully, some classes will be offered over the summer and then more classes in the fall. For other examples of such schools, go to for a similar school in the Twin Cities or for a like-minded school in Highland Park.


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