Thank you all for your thoughtful and helpful posts. I will take your ideas and recommendations and see what more I can learn!
I would still, however, really appreciate hearing people's thoughts about the academic side of their Waldorf school, if folks are willing to share their thoughts on that.
The more I read this thread and this forum, in general, I realize how different our Waldorf school is. I think it's probably because we're in Europe and the school functions more like a Waldorf charter would in N. America. For instance, there's no enforceable media/pop culture policy. There's just a very strong tendency for parents not to buy their kids character stuff and not to be as in to media (and, obviously, kids can't bring cell phones, iPads, etc. into the classroom!). So the whole thing works more via informal social control than any hard and fast rules . .. and approach that works quite well, I have to say.
At any rate, did you have specific questions about the academics? My DS went to a typical public school til the middle of 2nd grade when we switched him, so we've experienced both. We've been very happy with the academic level at his Waldorf school. In fact, they were ahead of where his public school was with math. Behind with reading, but that's normal for a Waldorf school. I've loved how they've approached learning . .. integrating lots of hands' on stuff, creative activities, etc., while still getting the basics down. For instance, learning the multiplication tables . . DS' class had a whole activity where they got up and moved learning the tables. And they just finished having several days of putting together their own "stores" and buying and selling things (pics cut out of newspapers) to make math real. And so on. But a lot depends on the creativity of the teacher.
Hope this helps.