Common Principles for Uncommon Schools


Volume 15 | 1999 | Issue 1

The Family and Essential Schools: Mobilizing Democracy Toward Equity: Sets out ways schools can empower all families to support students' learning, connecting family involvement to a culture of inquiry and action. [Includes Parent Survey] Download PDF

Volume 14 | 1998 | Issue 5

How Friends Can Be Critical As Schools Make Essential Changes: Provides ways that school people can help each other participate in a cycle of inquiry that examines data, teaching practices, and student work as a means of making change. Download PDF

Volume 14 | 1998 | Issue 4

Teacher Renewal: Essential in a Time of Change: Examines what new and experienced teachers in Essential schools need in the way of professional education and support. Download PDF

Volume 14 | 1998 | Issue 3

Democracy and Equity: CES's Tenth Common Principle: Provides ways schools can promote democratic principles and challenge inequity and discrimination in their policies, practices, and pedagogies. Download PDF

Volume 14 | 1998 | Issue 2

Demonstrating Student Performance in Essential Schools: Presents ways Essential schools are augmenting data from norm-referenced standardized tests to offer richer and more public evidence about student learning.

Volume 14 | 1998 | Issue 1

What's 'Essential' About Learning in the World of Work?: Explores the links between Essential school learning through projects and other authentic contexts and the school-to-work movement's move to situate more learning in the workplace. Download PDF

Volume 13 | 1997 | Issue 5

What Makes an Elementary School 'Essential'?: Looks at what is drawing elementary schools into the Coalition and how the nine Common Principles play out in a younger setting, especially regarding curriculum, assessment and personalization. Download PDF

Volume 13 | 1997 | Issue 4

Essential Leadership in the School Change Process: Considers what it takes to lead a school through change and offers suggestions and experiences that have helped Essential school leaders find a balance between promoting change and supporting those who are going through it. Download PDF

Volume 13 | 1997 | Issue 3

Why Small Schools Are EssentialSmall schools do better across the board at knowing students well, keeping their work meaningful, and joining with others in collaborative communities. In the push toward higher student achievement, how can we bring their successes into the large schools most of our students attend?

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Volume 13 | 1997 | Issue 2

Looking Collaboratively at Student Work: An Essential Toolkit: Explores how loking closely at student work together can help school commuities reflect upon their educational purpose, assess their progress as a school and plan strategies for serving all students better. Download PDF

Volume 13 | 1997 | Issue 1

Networks and Essential Schools: How Trust Advances Learning: Shows how building relationships within and across schools can profoundly shift the culture of schooling to one in which teachers create new ways to share and examine their work and to hold themselves to higher standards. Download PDF

Volume 12 | 1996 | Issue 5

The Arts and Other Languages: From Elective to Essential: Reveals what the arts and foreign languages can contribute to improving teaching and learning, designing interdisciplinary curriculum and addressing issues of inclusiveness and community. Download PDF

Volume 12 | 1996 | Issue 4

Developing Curriculum in Essential Schools: Looks at ways to reconcile Essential school ideals about curriculum with the realities of time and teaching and whether teacher-developed curriculum serves students' learning needs better than courses "off the shelf." Download PDF

Volume 12 | 1996 | Issue 3

Documenting Whole-School Change in Essential Schools: Offers new ideas about what data schools should collect and how they can use it to evaluate their programs and create more meaningful ways to record student progress and hold themselves accountable to their constituencies. Download PDF

Volume 12 | 1996 | Issue 2

Using Time Well: Schedules in Essential Schools: Explores new ways of conceiving and ordering the school day that work with rather than against the Essential School philosophy and considers what teachers need to plan and use the long-block schedule effectively. Download PDF