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Coalition of Essential Schools: Help Tell the Story of Its Legacy and Impact

Session 1
Jill Davidson — Coalition of Essential School

Long regarded as the starting point of the movement to create and sustain powerful student-focused, educator-driven schools, the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) has created an extraordinary network to which most influential schools, educators, and thinkers in progressive education can trace their roots. In order to add to an archive that will help tomorrow’s educators understand the impact of the powerful ideas that gave life to CES, we are reaching out to everyone who would like to share thoughts, stories, experience, reflections, critiques, and ideas about the Common Principles and related practices. This session will open with storytelling about various phases of CES’s existence, starting with Ted Sizer’s Horace’s Compromise and moving through history to today’s CES schools. We invite educators who have connections with CES at any or multiple points of its existence to share experiences, ask questions, and connect with the ongoing effort to document the CES’s impact and influence. In addition to inviting stories from those who have had firsthand experience with CES as students or educators, we also welcome those who want to know more about the ways CES’s founders captured the nation’s interest with clear expressions and demonstrations of student-centered, teacher-driven progressive education. Please know that we’re not seeking hagiography. We’re also interested in input from those who feel that CES’s impact was insufficient, or who otherwise have serious critiques of the organization. We also want to know what you hope a national organization that stands for academically vibrant, personalized, equitable, and challenging schools could and should do to influence supportive national, state, and local policies.

Conversational Practice

This conversation will connect to CES’s Year of Demonstration, a more extensive, year-long effort to document stories about and gain insight into the work and influence of the Coalition of Essential Schools. We will use conversational protocols and grouping to organize the participants into groups that include CES experts/veterans, those who have some connection, and those who are new to the work. After a short presentation, groups will ask and answer questions, share stories, and distill themes and big ideas that shed light on CES's extensive influence on educational policies and practices in and beyond the United States. Participants will also add to a CES influence map that's being collaboratively constructed to document CES's reach and influence.

Conversation Links

Presenter Profiles

Jill Davidson
Jill Davidson
Coalition of Essential Schools


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