Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Horace Volume 8 | 1992 | Issue 1

Taking Stock: How Are Essential Schools Doing?: "Takes stock" of how well Coalition reform efforts are going; includes preliminary figures on Essential school successes and questions to ask in assessing progress. Download PDF    

Common Measures: What Students Feel About Essential Schools

These responses were requested from students in nine Essential Schools–both students who participated in Essential School activities (called “ES students” here) and those who did not. Surveys were given to an equal number of ES and non-ES students in each school, but responses came in from 427 ES students and 185 non-ES students. (The statistics that result have been adjusted

Common Measures: What Teachers Feel About Essential Schools

These responses were gathered from 1,762 teachers in 46 Essential schools, by Kyle Peck, a professor of education at Pennsylvania State University. The survey was commissioned by the Coalition as a pilot study only–intended not to be conclusive but to explore what questions might be usefully asked in a continuing survey to be launched by the Coalition’s Taking Stock effort

Essential Schools’ Performance: Some Preliminary Figures

(Note: Schools in different states and communities collect data in different ways, and students are selected for Essential School programs in different ways. Cross-district comparisons are invalid; bear in mind that these data may legitimately be compared only for past performances or to general districtwide data collected in the same manner. What follows is a sampling of records submitted by

Qualitative Questions to Help Assess Essential Schools

These questions were used by a 1988 Committee on Evaluation chaired by Gerald Grant of Syracuse University, charged in 1988 with assessing the progress of the Coalition of Essential Schools. Because they are qualitative rather than quantitative research questions, they can provoke useful thought as schools and outsiders look at Essential School changes in individual situations. What would you say

Taking Stock: How Are Essential Schools Doing?

Do students in Essential Schools perform better? As results start to come in, the chief problem is how to answer this in thoughtful and precise ways – without losing the Coalition’s focus on intellectual depth as defined by each local school community. A wry joke is making the rounds of the education world, which we heard from Judy Lanier, who

Tracking Student Success from Experimental Schools: The Eight-Year Study from the 1930s

Has anyone ever tried to find out systematically whether what students do in high school really matters when they go on to college? The answer is yes. In an eight-year study launched in 1934 and brought to a halt by America’s entry into World War II, the Progressive Education Association followed the progress of 1,500 students from thirty progressive high

When Researchers Visit Your School

Simply because they are trying out new ideas in the classroom, Essential Schools often find themselves examined within an inch of their lives. Policy makers, doctoral candidates, fellow Essential School people, and journalists may descend upon a school in the throes of change, prodding it for symptoms of success or failure. How should a school react, and where does it