Not all Montessori school's are badI run a Montessori school for children 0-3 years. I was trained by NCME (a form of Montessori training that was close to where I live and convenient to complete while raising a at the time 2 yr old DD, rather than drive 90 miles to the nearest AMS/AMI training center). If I had to describe my training, it is more like mainstream current research mixed with montessori principles.
I take what I know works that is Montessori, and add what is requested by parents and the child development community as a whole.
Like it has been said before, every school is different, every teacher is different, everyone comes to this table with different experiences and temperments, just like any other traditional preschool.
My school is not one of those pin-drop classrooms. We have toddlers, mostly 18m-36m of age. We do have materials on the shelves, and at circletime I do what I like to call 'job presentation', where each child will pick a activity off the shelf bring it to my rug, and I will show them how to play/learn from the activity. I find this helps them see how to play with it, also if it is something they do not play with, it helps re-peak the interest in that certain activity.
I change the environment/classroom every month so there is something new and exciting for the kids to play/work with. New books, new songs, new activities.
I encourage parents to stay as long as they want to, and I have an open door policy (state law in California). I let the parents know children will indeed act differently when their parents are around, and to keep this in mind during their observations.
We also allow the child their independant "me do it" mindset to do things on their own, however we are there to help as needed. We are also a 1-6 ratio 12 children total home-school environment.
There are some schools that are extremely strict, mine is not one of them. But like another message said on here, different parents are going to want different things for their child.
I just hope with all of the negative posts the overall belief is the theory that each Montessori school and each teacher brings their own beliefs and values to the mix, and to carefully screen a Montessori school as you would any other school you are considering.