Whatever Happened to the Coalition of Essential Schools?

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

They are gone. What began as Ted Sizer’s ground-breaking effort to reform U.S.’s 25,000 high schools over three decades ago, reaching 1000-plus schools by 1997, the year Sizer retired from CES. In 2017, there were less than 100 schools affiliated with CES.

Is this a story of a reform birthed in one educational crisis dying during a later one? Or is it a story of a reform centered on one person who, over time, built an organization that lost ideas and energy while failing to generate sufficient funds after the founder left? Or is it a time-tested story of a reform that succeeded by spreading its progressive gospel far and wide appearing in many other policies, programs, and places?

Where an When Did the Idea Originate?
A former headmaster at Phillips Academy, Dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and professor at Brown University, Ted Sizer believed deeply in…

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