Progressive Education in the 21st Century – Second Edition
Edited By Susan F. Semel, Alan R. Sadovnik and Ryan W. Coughlan
Chapter 2. The City and Country School: A Progressive Paradigm
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THE CITY AND COUNTRY SCHOOL
A Progressive Paradigm
Susan F. Semel
The City and Country School, located at 146 West 13th Street in New York City, occupies three connected landmark brownstones that appear to be a single building on a tree-lined street in the heart of Greenwich Village.1 Visitors to the school, especially non-New Yorkers looking for a more traditional school building, often walk right by it. Indeed, the school is marked only by a modest, brown, weather-beaten wooden sign bearing its name. To either side stand more brownstones—some of them having seen better days, others having been renovated by the influx of affluent “baby boomers.” Current real estate prices are steep for prospective newcomers; brownstones often start at several million dollars. Apartments, especially large ones that would accommodate growing families, are difficult to find and are usually sold or rented at top market prices. This neighborhood had traditionally attracted artistically inclined single people or couples without children who were drawn to its affordable rents, bohemian ambiance, and openness to alternative lifestyles and radical politics.
Today, in addition to its aging, long-term tenants on rent control or rent stabilization and its artists and writers, the neighborhood is home to newly affluent couples with children—that is to say “yuppies” attracted to the artsy, downtown, atmosphere of the Village. Thus, independent schools in this area ← 29 | 30 → can now draw from a steadily growing applicant pool....
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