Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Horace Common Principles

A Quiet Voice

One afternoon years and years ago, when I taught at Watkinson School in Hartford, Connecticut, I showed my students slides of contemporary paintings. Jackson Pollacks, Piet Mondriens, Gustav Klimts and Picassos. I was trying to help them see the importance of the work. The students were restless, frustrated, growing more annoyed with me with each passing image. I realized too

Horace: Common Principles Published: December 2, 2009 By: Teri Schrader Topics: Common Principles, Ted Sizer

CES at 25: The Transformative Power of Principle-Based Education

As this issue of Horace goes to press and with great sadness, we share the news that CES’s founder, Theodore R. Sizer, passed away on October 21, 2009 at home in Harvard, Massachusetts. Ted leaves his wife Nancy Faust Sizer, four children, 10 grandchildren, and a wide circle of loving family and friends. Please visit to learn more about

Horace: Common Principles Published: December 2, 2009 By: Jill Davidson Topics: Common Principles, Ted Sizer

Horace’s Legacy: Learning with Purpose, A Proposal to Add Two New Common Principles

“Purpose serves as a principle around which to organize our lives.” -Anonymous There’s a story told about a farmer from Nebraska. It seems that every year the farmer grew amazing, award-winning corn. Each summer he entered his corn in the State Fair where it always won the blue ribbon. One year, a newspaper reporter interviewed the farmer and learned something

Horace: Common Principles Published: December 2, 2009 By: Joe Greenberg Topics: Common Principles

How CES Can Help

Schools seeking help with implementing the Ten Common Principles can find help through the Coalition of Essential Schools in a variety of ways: 1. The new CES School Benchmarks spell out detailed “indicators” for how the Ten Common Principles play out in school structures and practices. To obtain the latest working copy, contact Joe Pattaphongse by e-mail at, or

Ted Sizer’s Opening Remarks, Fall Forum 2000, Providence, Rhode Island

Note from the editor: Most Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forums have opened with remarks from CES’s founder, Ted Size. Ted’s observations reconnected us with our purpose and reminded us that our network is unique, precious, practical, and immeasurably valuable. The thought that Ted shared to launch Fall Forum in 2000, which took place in Providence, Rhode Island, stand as

Horace: Common Principles Published: December 2, 2009 By: Theodore Sizer Topics: Common Principles, Ted Sizer

Ten by Ten: Essential Schools That Exemplify the Ten Common Principles

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 Schools play out the Coalition’s Ten Common Principles in different ways, depending on their local context and priorities. For each principle, here is an Essential school exemplar of its practice, nominated by other school people impressed with how student learning has followed. As Essential schools put into practice the Coalition’s

The Value of Core Principles in the Age of Change

As I reflect on CES and its groundbreaking, significant work over the past 25 years, I am regularly reminded of the importance of the core guiding principles, even as the educational landscape changes. I was introduced to the work of Ted and Nancy Sizer as an eager undergraduate in summer program in Andover, Massachusetts sponsored by the Institute for Recruitment

Horace: Common Principles Published: December 2, 2009 By: Adelric McCain Topics: Common Principles

Working with Ted

I never worked “with” a boss before working with Ted at Brown University. I had always known of Ted—he was Dean at Harvard Graduate School of Education when I was a student there, just beginning my teaching career. Ted arrived at Brown University in September 1984. I was working at Brown in President Howard Swearer’s office, creating seminars led by

Horace: Common Principles Published: December 2, 2009 By: Paula Evans Topics: Common Principles, Ted Sizer