Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Horace Laura Flaxman

An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftmanship with Students

By Ron Berger (Heinemann, 160 pages, $17.50) BUY NOW! reviewed by Laura Flaxman More than ten years ago, when I first saw Ron Berger present a portfolio of his students’ work and explain the process behind these beautiful and impressive artifacts, I was struck by this master teacher’s combination of skill, passion, energy and humility. An Ethic of Excellence: Building

Horace: Laura Flaxman Published: December 10, 2004 By: Laura Flaxman Topics: Assessment, Exhibitions, Personalization, Portfolios, Student-as-worker

Comments from Maureen Benson, Principal, Youth Empowerment School

Maureen Benson, principal of the Fremont Federation’s Youth Empowerment School (YES), talked with Laura Flaxman and Horace editor Jill Davidson about YES’s early successes and challenges as a small, autonomous, interconnected school. On Professional Development and Staffing Academically and instructionally, we are nowhere near where I would like us to be. But creating a cohesive staff takes time, patience, resilience

Horace: Laura Flaxman Published: September 10, 2004 By: Jill Davidson, Laura Flaxman Topics: Developing Leaders, The Change Process

High Schools on a Human Scale

By Thomas Toch (Beacon Press, 144 pages, $15.00) reviewed by Laura Flaxman “The prospect of high schools on a more human scale ultimately requires a belief on the part of educators and policy-makers that the necessary changes to the status quo needed to create such high schools are worth the hard work needed to achieve them. The stories of the

Horace: Laura Flaxman Published: April 10, 2004 By: Laura Flaxman Topics: Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities

Interview with Anna Le, Life Academy Graduate

Anna Le, a graduate of Life Academy, actively participated on the school’s design team during its transition to an autonomous small school. In conversation with Laura Flaxman, Le shares her insights about small school design from the student perspective. Laura Flaxman: What should students be aware of when they’re moving from a large high school to a small one? Anna

Horace: Laura Flaxman Published: September 10, 2004 By: Laura Flaxman Topics: Democratic Practice, Keeping The Vision, The Change Process

Life Academy and Fremont High Schol: Lessons for Large School Conversions

In the summer of 2000, I moved to Oakland to get involved in the city’s small schools initiative. For two years, I led Life Academy, the city’s first new small autonomous high school, born in 2001 from an academy program within Oakland’s 2,000-plus student Fremont High School. Having spent many years working with new school start-ups across the country, I

Horace: Laura Flaxman Published: September 10, 2004 By: Laura Flaxman Topics: The Change Process

Listening to Students

Far too often in conversations about schools, educators talk about students rather than with students. The worlds of student leadership and school change orbit in separate universes. At the Coalition of Essential Schools,we have sought to alter this dynamic by engaging youth along with adults in the tasks of creating and transforming schools. In our experience, the most powerful schools

Horace: Laura Flaxman Published: December 9, 2006 By: Laura Flaxman Topics: Instruction, Student-as-worker