Common Principles for Uncommon Schools
CES at 25: Changing Schools, Changing Lives: This special Fall Forum double issue offers a wide range of perspectives on the Essential schools movement at the moment of its 25th anniversary. Contributions range from recommending expansion of the CES Common Principles, analyses of ways to sustain the work of CES schools, and personal reflections from CES network educators on the influence and legacy of CES founder Ted Sizer.
CES 2.0: Technology and the Essential School: Horace looks at infusing social networking into pedagogy, learning technology skills through service-learning, distance learning and the CES Common Principles, using social networking for literacy development, implementing digital portfolios, and other topics that explore the relationship between emerging technologies, meaningful teaching and learning with an equity focus, and student achievement.
Cycles of Inquiry and Action: This issue examines questions of inquiry at Essential schools. CES educators share stories of asking questions and investigating answers through using data for whole-school evaluation, classroom formative assessment, and coaching for instructional improvement. Download PDF
Education and Democracy: This issue looks at civic engagement to understand the ways that educators, students, and communities that support schools involve themselves in politics and policy creation to create and sustain personalized, equitable, and academically challenging schools for all students. Download PDF
Wellness and the Mind-Body Connection: This issue investigates the connections between mind, body, and learning, focusing on topics such as food and nutrition, the role of play in learning and schools, organized sports, wellness, personal fitness, care of the self, time spent outdoors, meditation, spiritual practices, and attention to emotional and psychological needs. Download PDF
Lifecycles of Educators: Essential School Staff Development: This issue examines the career directions of Essential school teachers and education leaders, focusing on professional learning communities to address the challenge of developing the capacity of educators and administrators to sustain success, create improvement, and start new schools.
Beyond Reform: Transformations: This issue explores how communities interrupt the status quo and create the conditions for transformed schools. How do transformed schools — and their larger environments — sustain and evolve as student-centered, collaborative, academically challenging and equitable places of learning?
What's Essential about Elementary Schools: This issue looks at the latest thinking in the CES network about what defines CES elementary schools, inviting practitioners to discuss the way elementary schools express the CES Common Principles. Download PDF
Essential Mathematics Education: Essential school mathematics educators debate the advantages and challenges of responding to “less is more” and other CES Common Principles in mathematics, addressing what’s happening now in Essential school math instruction. Download PDF
Exhibtions: Demonstrations of Mastery in Essential Schools: This issue features writing from CES educators from Sedona Red Rock High School, Greenfield Center School, Parker Charter Essential School, Mission Hill School, School of the Future, and Leadership High School. This issue looks at the how exhibitions ensure engagement within and outside the school community, prepare young people for 21st work and citizenship, and serve as a fulcrum for school transformation. Download PDF
Leadership: Students as Writers: Essential School Students on Education and Activism: Produced in collaboration with CES’s Small Schools Project, this student-written issue tells stories about and examines the impact of youth leadership in the CES Network. Download PDF
Community Connections: Community-Based Learning and Essential Schools: Horace explores the challenges and value of internships, service learning, community collaborations, independent projects and other non-classroom centered learning opportunities in CES schools. Download PDF
Classroom Practice: Teaching and Learning Essential Literacy Skills:Horace spotlights the work of Essential school educators skilled in teaching heterogeneous groups while deepening meaning, relevance and academic challenge for all. Download PDF
School Design: How Essential Schools Prepare Students for Higher Education: Horace focuses on how the Common Principles guide Essential schools to cultivate the structures, guidance, and support for all students to be ready to be admitted to and persist in college and be ready for citizenship and leadership as adults.
Using Advocacy and Communication to Create and Sustain Essential Schools: This issue focuses on ways that Essential School communities have contributed to politcal action to create policy environments that support the CES Common Principles. Ann Cook and Phyllis Tashlik of the New York Standards Consortium discuss the challenges persented to performanced-based assessment by the New York State Department of Education, Steve Jubb of BayCES talks about how to create alliances to change district policies and Albuquerque's Amy Biel High School details their communication and advocacy strategies which have helped them meet stragic legislative goals. Download PDF
District Change to Support Essential Schools: This issue focuses on creating school districts that support Essential schools, with case studies of Boston, Indianapolis, Maplewood Public Schools, Colorado, and Humble, Texas. Also featured: interviews with school reform leaders Theodore R. Sizer, New York City Public Schools' Chief Academic Officer for New Schools Eric Nadelstern, and Warren Simmons, Executive Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Download PDF
Inclusion and Learning Differences in Essential Schools: This issue of Horace forcuses on inclusion that creates full access for students with language-based learning disabilities as a way to focus specifically on issues of teaching and learning. Accounts from Anne Clark (Boston Arts Academy) and others help frame the discussion. Download PDF
Advisories in Essential Schools: This issue explores the state of advisories in Essential schools. What do graduates think of an advisory centered high school education. Contributors explore how students' experiences have been shaped by advisories, present research that validates advisories' beneficial effects, and also look at how Esssential school educators are conducting their own data-based inquires to demonstrate the effectiveness of advisory programs. Download PDF
High School Conversions: Essential Restructuring: Examines the issues and opportunities that arise when large high schools convert to small, autonomous schools. Laura Flaxman analyzes student achievement during the conversion process while Jay Feldman and Lisette López look at the ways in which conversion schools find professional development opportunites that lead to improved teaching and learning. Download PDF