Common Principles for Uncommon Schools
Making Math Personal: Focuses on math in Essential schools, featuring an interview with civil rights leader Dr. Robert Moses, founder of the Algebra Project, highlighting the math curriculum development process at New Mission High School, and exploring ways in which CES teachers create personalized math curriculum. Download PDF
Mentoring and Collaboration among Essential Schools: Looks at how sustained mentorships and patnerships help new and restructuring schools effectively draw on the experience of long-established Coalition schools. Includes practical information about effective school visits, a sneak peak at CES ChangeLab, and a wide variety of practical resources. Download PDF
Strengthening Bonds between Families and Schools: Horace shares ways that Essential schools focus on family involvement, considering strategies such as family conferences and goal setting and considering ways to bridge gaps when family and school goals for students don't align. Horace also examines the power of family literature circles. Download PDF
Leadership for Equity: Includes a contribution authored by Linda Nathan, Headmaster of Boston Arts Academy, that describes BAA's efforts to support equitable academic success for all of its students. This issue also features equity-centered teacher and student roundtable discussions and a guest editor letter from Dr. Pedro Noguera. Download PDF
English Language Learners in Essential Schools: Looks at the varied experiences of students in bilingual and English Language Learning classrooms in Essential schools. We will focus on classroom practice and teaching/learning strategies, the impact of high-stakes testing on ELL students, and the ways that Coalition schools are addressing multilingual equity and cultural issues. Download PDF
Elements of Smallness Create Conditions for Success: Examines how sustained efforts to incorporate the Ten Common Principles support small schools as they make the most of student learning, personalization, school sustainability, collaborative leadership opportunities and student achievement.
Working for Equity through Community Collaboration: Looks at Oakland's new small autonomous schools effort and the relationship of three organizations involved in the effort: Bay Area Coalition of Equitable Schools, Oakland Community Organizations, and Oakland Unified School District. Download PDF
Democratic Leadership in Coalition Schools: CES schools are adopting leadership and management methods that include teachers, students and families. Principals and other school administrators are reshaping their roles. This issue of Horace looks at reasons for moving to models of democratic school leadership, along with strategies and practices to support the shift.Download PDF
Personalized Assessment and Standards: Provides another look at the various ways Coalition schools are confronting the challenges of the accountability and standardized testing movement by providing invaluable alternatives for students to demonstrate their mastery of essential habits and skills.
Educational Architecture on a Human Scale: Expounds upon the power of flexible designs that support personalized learning and relationships, relating the experiences of educators and architects trying to design best spaces for learning and provides guidelines for both designing new spaces and transforming existing ones. Download PDF
Looking Back on 15 Years of Essential School Designs: In her last issue as the editor of Horace, Kathleen Cushman looks back on 15 years and 60 issues, observing how the change process has affected school cultures deeply. She notes the 10 most powerful changes she has witnessed, including the dismantling of huge comprehensive high schools, the creation of networks of critical friendships, and the integration of curriculum. This issue also includes tributes from Coalition co-founders, Ted Sizer and Deborah Meier. Download PDF
Equity Drives Essential Schools' Push for Adolescent Literacy: Provides powerful reasons and methods for developing adolescent literacy. Noting the increasing diversity of student populations, Cushman urges readers to use the lever of literacy, coaching students to master basic skills and practice complex strategies, to achieve equitable outcomes across content areas. This issue includes very helpful examples and tools for teachers.
What Good Schools Do When Their Students Don't Do Well: Surveys school practices and programs that provide intensive support and resources to assist students who are not meeting standards. This issue also describes the challenges schools face when students who demonstrate mastery on performance assessments don't pass standardized tests. Download PDF
High Standards for Essential Learning Demand a Mix of Measures: What's not on the test? Teachers, students, and parents are drawing new attention to the vital skills and habits that most state tests ignore and asking for more and richer ways to show what they have learned.Download PDF
What Makes for Powerful Learning? Students Tell Their Own Experiences: Provides seven students' accounts from around the country of powerful learning experiences, which provide clues to such pressing concerns as how teachers might assess and document such learning, how the whole school can help facilitate, and what the common threads between these experiences are. Download PDF
Ten by Ten: Essential Schools That Exemplify the Ten Common Principles: Illuminates how Essential schools interpret the Ten Common Principles in ways that necessarily reflect very different local contexts. As the principles work in concert, moreover, schools often find that one rises to prominence, prompting a press for excellence that illumines and ignites other areas of change as well.
Essential School Structure and Design: Boldest Moves Get the Best Results: Shows how the way schools are designed, from what they teach to how they allocate time and people, should emerge from local priorities and build on what we know about student learning. Download PDF
The Cycle of Inquiry and Action: Essential Learning Communities: Explores how a continual dynamic of asking good questions and finding evidence can guide a school's actions. Inquiry and a culture of evidence are powerful tools in the growth of an Essential school community.
Student Development: How Essential School Practices and Designs Can Help: Examines how teachers can best coach kids in the habits of thoughtful adults and support them in their different rates of growth and what this implies for how we organize Essential schools. Download PDF
What's Out There? Curricula that Support Essential School Ideas: Presents a selection of curricula that reflect and support the Ten Common Principles, and helps teachers critically analyze their content, pedagogy, and purposes.