Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Horace Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4

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

Advisory Program Research and Evaluation

This article reviews the research literature to bolster the case for advisory and demonstrate that putting it at the core of a school is worth the investment. Lessons from CES schools also reveal the importance of a cycle of collaborative inquiry when planning and implementing advisory. At its heart, advisory forges connections among students and the school community, creating conditions

An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftmanship with Students

By Ron Berger (Heinemann, 160 pages, $17.50) BUY NOW! reviewed by Laura Flaxman More than ten years ago, when I first saw Ron Berger present a portfolio of his students’ work and explain the process behind these beautiful and impressive artifacts, I was struck by this master teacher’s combination of skill, passion, energy and humility. An Ethic of Excellence: Building

Connections that Matter and Endure

Recently, my former student Jaelis Toro called to see if I had Elmer Myer’s new telephone number. Elmer had been her advisor a few years ago at Arturo Schomburg Satellite Academy, a small alternative school in the South Bronx, when I was the director of the school. Jaelis—now a junior at Bethune Cookman, a small, Southern, historically Black college—called because

Horace: Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4 Published: December 10, 2004 By: Mara Benitez Topics:

Creating Advisories: A Few Notes from the Field

Research solidly confirms that advisories provide the kind of personalized support that increases student achievement, and the current surge of secondary school start-up and restructuring initiatives is promoting a new wave of advisory programs in thousands of schools nationwide. Although many exemplary advisory programs exist, we know of many other schools struggling to establish meaningful advisories. As we’ve worked with

Go To The Source: More About the Schools and Other Organizations Featured in this Issue

Schools Arturo Schomburg Satellite Academy High School Public School serving grades 9-12 101 Rev. James A. Polite Ave. Bronx, NY 10459 718-542-2700 Bushwick School for Social Justice Public school serving grades 9 and 10 (9-12 by 2007) 400 Irving Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11237 718-381-7100 x5000 or 5001 Emery Secondary School Public school serving grades 7-12 1100 47th Street Emeryville,

Horace: Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4 Published: December 10, 2004 By: Topics: Community Collaboration

Keeping School: Letters to Families from Principals of Two Small Schools

By Deborah Meier, Theodore R. Sizer and Nancy Faust Sizer (Beacon Press, 192 pages, $23.00) BUY NOW! reviewed by Jill Davidson It’s nearly impossible to overestimate how many fully loaded plates most principals (and teachers) spin on any given school day. Interruption-driven, overscheduled: this is their norm. Though it may seem counterintuitive and nearly impossible to find time on a

Horace: Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4 Published: December 10, 2004 By: Jill Davidson Topics: Family Collaboration

Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is Damaging Our Children and Our Schools

Edited by Deborah Meier and George Wood (Beacon Press, 132 pages, $13.00) BUY NOW! reviewed by Jill Davidson I know a principal of a small urban high school who has to defend his school’s mission of meaningful learning as assessed by authentic, high-standard measures against constant demands for “accountability.” It galls me to see how No Child Left Behind’s labels

Sidebar: CES Network Sources for Advisory Development

The CES network, long infused by Essential schools’ early adoption of and commitment to advisories, is rich with resources to help plan and refine advisories. Connect with regional CES centers to find profession development opportunities in your area. As well, some Essential schools have collected their learnings about advisories and offer workshops and resource materials. Some examples from CES Mentor

Horace: Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4 Published: December 10, 2004 By: Topics: Peer Coaching, Teacher Collaboration & Learning

Teaching as Inquiry: Asking Hard Questions to Improve Practice and Student Achievement

By Alexandra Weinbaum, David Allen, Tina Blythe, Katherine Simon, Steve Seidel and Catherine Rubin (Teachers College Press, 192 pages, $21.95) BUY NOW! reviewed by Jill Davidson In the field of education, we believe we can, in time and with effort, better understand the interaction among people that is teaching and learning,” writes Teaching as Inquiry’s chorus of co-authors, who offer

The Big Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business

By Dennis Littky with Samantha Grabelle (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 230 pages, $26.95) BUY NOW! reviewed by Jill Davidson Elias, my four-year old son, is crazy about baseball. As any parent—anyone who spends time with a child she or he knows well—can and most certainly will tell you, watching that kid’s mind unleash itself is joyfully dizzying. Elias

Horace: Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4 Published: December 10, 2004 By: Jill Davidson Topics: Small Learning Communities

The Red Pencil: Convictions from Experience in Education

By Theodore Sizer (Yale University Press, 160 pages, $23.00) BUY NOW! reviewed by Jill Davidson At The Red Pencil’s start, Ted Sizer—founder and chairman emeritus of the Coalition of Essential Schools—takes us into his tenth-grade Latin class, a starkly terrifying scene imbued with anything but “unanxious expectation.” Mr. Barrell’s classroom was a place of right or wrong—no discussion, no second

Horace: Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4 Published: December 10, 2004 By: Jill Davidson Topics: Community Collaboration

The Simple Complexity of Advisories

Years ago, I shadowed a student through an all-day school visit. Marius was confident and happy, engaged in his classes, bristling with energy and full of comments on the teachers and the connections he was discovering in the school’s interdisciplinary block-scheduled program. I was pleased, of course, to be having such a wonderful day with this bright young man at

Horace: Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4 Published: December 10, 2004 By: Jill Davidson Topics: Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities

We All Win Together: Met Graduates Reflect on Advisories

Rich with ideas, opinions, and passions, advisories are a place to get feedback, to try out new ideas, to learn, and to teach. As teams focused on a common goal-learning and life success for everyone in the group-advisories at the Met redefine what it means to teach and learn. Advisories go beyond forced groups in which individuals relate to each

Workshops and Publications to Help Schools Plan and Strengthen Advisories

Changing Systems to Personalize Learning: The Power of Advisories The Power of Advisories, created by Debbie Osofsky, Greg Sinner, and Denise Wolk of the Education Alliance at Brown University, is a well-researched and hugely comprehensive 174-page guide designed to accompany an Education Alliance professional development workshop of the same name (see for further information about the workshop). Divided into

Horace: Volume 20 | 2004 | Issue 4 Published: December 10, 2004 By: Topics: Cycle of Inquiry, Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities