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At Brooklyn Free School, Students Control Their Education

It’s a typical day in the old brownstone mansion on Clinton Avenue that houses the Brooklyn Free School: seeming chaos masking an invisible order. Students — there are about 80, ranging in age from 4 to 18 — stomp up and down five flights of stairs, thunderously. All but the youngest, who are safely corralled in a playroom, dispose themselves as they choose: reading, drawing, working on laptops, playing video games, rehearsing or building sets for the school’s upcoming annual play, an...

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