The Coalition of Essential Schools fulfilled its mission through:

  • facilitating communication within and about the CES Network
  • convening Essential schools, CES Affiliate Centers, and their allies for professional development and community-building
  • advocating for local, state, and national conditions that support personalized, equitable, and academically challenging schools and school systems

Schools, organizations, and individuals that joined the CES Network by affiliating with CES National lent their voices to the effort to create an educational system that promotes personalization, equity, and academic challenge for all students. Benefits of affiliation also included Fall Forum discounts, and more.

Fall Forum

Each year, CES convened teachers, administrators, parents, students, and leading thinkers in education to exchange ideas, ask questions, and share insights and effective practices from schools around the country. Visit the Fall Forum archive.


CES worked with the national media and other educational organizations to promote the creation of an environment in which schools designed according to the CES Common Principles can thrive.


CES continues to offer resources to support student-centered, equity-driven learning and accompanying school transformation. These resources include

  • Our journal, Horace. Please visit the Horace archive for the full set of collected Horace issues (1985-2003)
  • The CES Benchmarks, a set of 14 qualities of Essential schools that describe those practices that are aligned with the CES principles, the CES Benchmarks are designed to help educators understand and implement the critical elements of high achieving and equitable CES schools
  • The CES EssentialVisions DVD series. The CES EssentialVisions videos were created and released by CES from 2005-2007 to demonstrate CES’s Common Principles in action in a range of high schools

CES Centers

CES Centers provide technical assistance to schools that have embraced the Common Principles. Each CES center is an independent organization with the autonomy to create services appropriate for the schools it serves. Please visit the CES Centers page to connect with them for support and networking.


View CES’s history in timeline form here: CES timeline.