Town Square

When regular school doesn't work

Original post made on May 14, 2012

The "parental angst" that walks through her door is familiar territory to Rhonda Racine, founder and director of Menlo Park's Lydian Academy, an accredited, one-to-one tutoring service.

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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 14, 2012 at 10:49 am

Who is paying $70/hr for this education? Taxpayers?

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Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 17, 2012 at 12:40 am

The fee is paid for my the family, just as it would be for any private tutor or class.

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Posted by Corey
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 20, 2013 at 1:26 am

Think of Lydian as the loan shark of educational institutions. They will give their services out to anyone (they are for profit after all), and in return their practices are highly suspect and in some cases immoral. I was a student there for my senior year and I am highly embarrassed to have graduated from this "school." Needless to say this is a place where concerned parents drop off their "problem" children, thinking that it is a quick and painless way to fix their issues. Sadly, it is not, as Lydian Academy's low standards of academics give the illusion that their kids are succeeding, where in fact Lydian's academic standard of a wink and an instant A does not prepare students for any academic endeavors that may come afterwards. My main moral concern with the institution was their willingness to accept students with severe learning differences when they have ZERO people in their staff who have any sort of real credentials to work with this type of student. It is an absolute felony to hide a student with a severe mental handicap in cubicle classes with a bunch of inexperienced recent college grads as their "teachers" just so that student's parents can feel a little bit better about the "screw-up" kid in the family. The women who supposedly runs Lydian, Rhonda Racine, is never there and only shows up to give parents (seeing a theme here?) a tour of their cubicle rooms. She is one of the most frustrating and despicable "educators" you will ever encounter, who only seems to care about "her brand", and yes that is a real quote. I am lucky to be attending college in spite of my mistake of attending this institution, and in a few years when colleges realize that this school is a degree mill it will most likely close. However, until that day the wealthy parents of the Menlo Park / Palo Alto area will most likely continue to buy their children good grades through Lydian. The fact that this institution is academically accredited is inexplicable and I advise that parents and students both steer clear of Lydian. The experience and work ethic that comes with attending a real school far outweighs the benefits of paying for some token A's. The writer of this article ought to be ashamed, clearly all they did was talk to the Lydian administration without conducting any sort of in-depth research.

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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 20, 2013 at 9:53 am

The government schooling system enjoys a monopoly which operates to suppress alternatives. While Lydian may be a bit pricey, it fills a niche which some parents find worth the price. Break up the education monopoly and you will see the evolution of alternatives which will provide for the educational needs of 90% of the population at a fraction of the cost of the union dominated government schooling system. Government schools should be the last resort for the remaining 10%. Marva Collins Web Link and Gertrude Wilks Web Link provide examples of alternative education venues which would thrive in a free market.