EyeGreenWe need your voices

While the dream of personalized, equitable, and intellectually challenging schools for every student has yet to be realized, in every state there are schools, teachers and students who have created just these kinds of learning environments for themselves and for one another. We need your help to elevate stirring examples of the kind of schools that enable the greatest hope for democracy. We think our nation needs those voices – your voices – now.

The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), a national network of schools and educators was founded in 1984 with a set of Common Principles that describe guiding ideas for building student-centered, educator-driven schools. Now, more than 30 years later, we seek to gather examples of the impact of these ideas and other similar philosophies from partner organizations to highlight the power and promise of progressive education. Throughout the year, we will publish the voices of educators exploring the power of these approaches to animate teaching and learning. You need not be a CES member to participate; voices from K-12 educators in any setting are welcome.

Our Invitation

We invite teachers, current and former students, administrators and other individuals involved in schools to share their voices about the work of progressive education. These pieces will be shared in a variety of ways – on the CES web site, through social media and potentially in a culminating book. The stories we gather from practitioners will stand alongside the voices of national thought leaders. We hope to share every voice.

What We Are Looking For

How have the Common Principles or other descriptions of student-centered, intellectually challenging, equitable education impacted your work? This is an open call for your creative responses. We want to learn how these ideas have guided your practice and how they have influenced your development. Some things we hope to uncover in gathering your voices together:

  • A range of perspectives that illuminate the impact of CES and other organizations over time
  • Inspiring examples that encourage educators to connect with one another about their work
  • An enduring archive that helps educators know more about the ways these big ideas create the conditions for student-centered, teacher-powered schools and classrooms
  • A portrait of the impact of progressive learning environments on individuals and communities
  • Examples that connect the ideas of the CES Common Principles or other guiding ideas to the daily practice of teaching and learning


We seek responses in a range of formats. Since these pieces will be shared primarily online, we welcome photos, video, audio, essays, etc. Whatever your approach, please aim to keep your contribution to 4-5 minutes or around 750 words.


We hope to share all of the contributions we receive in one forum or another. The strongest pieces will directly connect the Common Principles or other progressive work to direct practice, have a clear point of view and be well-constructed.


We’re accepting submissions on a rolling basis.

How to Participate

To contribute or learn more, email voices@essentialschools.org. Know someone you think should contribute? Nominate them now and we will reach out.

Nominate a Progressive Education Voice!

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