Small Schools, Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to Successful School Transformation

Small Schools, Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to Successful School Transformation

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Small Schools, Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to Successful School Transformation by Mara Benitez, Jill Davidson, Laura Flaxman, Ted Sizer

Small Schools, Big Ideas shows how the principle-based and equity-focused model from the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) can be used to redesign existing schools and create new schools that prepare students for this century's challenges and opportunities.

Filled with inspirational stories and illustrative examples from schools that have successfully implemented CES principles and practices, Small Schools, Big Ideas offers information and inspiration needed to:

  • Transform schools in order to achieve equitable outcomes for all students
  • Understand various school design options
  • Establish school vision, mission, and goals to raise educational expectations and results
  • Develop transformational leadership
  • Cultivate a professional learning community
  • Implement student-centered teaching, learning, and curricula
  • Build productive relationships with families and communities
  • Establish strategies for sustainability
These recommendations and proven strategies can help educators transform their schools to become truly equitable, personalized, and academically challenging.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470615539
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 11/16/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Mara Benitez is senior director of school development for the Coalition of Essential Schools. Jill Davidson is director of publications at CES and also edits its journal, Horace. Laura Flaxman is co-founder and co-principal of ARISE High School, a model school in the CES network. The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) has been at the forefront of creating and sustaining personalized, equitable, and intellectually challenging schools for over twenty-five years.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Theodore R. Sizer, Nancy Faust Sizer).


The Coalition of Essential Schools and the CES Small Schools Project.

The Authors

Introduction: An Academically Challenging Education for All.

Part One: Setting the Stage for Transformation.

1. A Commitment to Equity.

2. Confronting the Challenges.

3. Creating the Climate and Conditions for Change.

Part Two: Essential Principles for School Design.

4. Starting with Vision, Mission, and Goals.

5. Transformative Leadership.

6. Cultivating Professional Learning Opportunities.

Part Three: Essential Principles for Learning.

7. Student-Centered Teaching and Learning.

8. Demonstration of Mastery.

9. Access, Opportunity, and Preparation for Postsecondary Success.

Part Four: Embedding Successful Change.

10. School Culture, Practices, and Community.

11. Strategies for Sustainability.

Appendix A: Coalition of Essential Schools Common Principles.

Appendix B: Coalition of Essential Schools Benchmarks: Principles in Practice.

Appendix C: Profiled Schools and Organizations.

Appendix D: The Benefits of the CES Model: A Look at Recent Research.

Appendix E: Glossary of Useful Assessment Terms.



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