Elementary School Networks for Change

The Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) in New York City created the National Elementary school Networks(NESN) in 1993 to add an elementary school voice and perspective to the school reform movement in the United States, and to demonstrate a school-based model for restructuring education and supporting learner-centered teaching. Building on the work of both CCE and the Coalition of Essential Schools, it aims to shift ownership of school reform efforts to school communities; to build new relationships that extend and deepen school practices; and to connect the areas of school practices, policies and advocacy.

In Milwaukee(Wisconsin), New Mexico, New York, Indiana, Ohio and Colorado, NESN has supported the development of school-based centers that sustain local whole-school elementary reform. By doing so it created a place for elementary school practitioners in the Coalition of Essential Schools to discuss pathways that link kindergarten through twelfth grade in the school reform context. And in the process, it informed the restructuring of the Coalition itself, by demonstrating the strength and vibrancy of school-based centers.

By enlarging the definition of who can participate in the work of school change, NESN leader Priscilla Ellington says NESN’s school-based centers provide crucial stability to reform efforts. They highlight the role of reflection and inquiry in deepening teacher practice, extend the conversation to include all members of the school community, broaden the notion of leadership and create new access to setting the reform agenda in schools. “Centers provide both a foundation and a framework for school change” she says “supporting the important conversations about teaching and school practices while developing ownership of the practices and the work”.

For more information contact NESN 1573 Madison Ave, Room 201, New York, NY 10029-3899. Tel:   (212)348-7821    (212)348-7821 .