Coalition of Essential Schools
The Coalition of Essential Schools, abbreviated as CES, is a North American school reform organization.It started in 1984 with 12 schools, and has grown to over 600 schools. CES is centered around challenging schools with an emphasis on personalized learning, student achievement, and effective teaching methods. The type of school reform that the Coalition of Essential Schools pursues was first considered by CES founder Ted Sizer in the book Horace's Compromise. The book contained Ted Sizer's thoughts on a study of high schools over a five year period in which he used a fictional teacher named Horace to illustrate a number of instructive examples.
The Coalition of Essential Schools uses nine principles to guide the views of the organization. These principles include learning how to use one's mind well, that goals apply to all of the students, the personalization of instruction, an emphasis on depth over breadth in study, commitment to everyone in the school, and proper resources for learning and teaching, among others.
Brown University was originally used to run the Coalition of Essential Schools, which led to a situation where only schools in New England could be effectively reached. Over time, the CES became more popular with educators all over the United States, and regional centers were created to help look over schools in different areas that were progressing towards the type of reform the Coalition envisions. As a result, a national level of administration was needed, and now serves as the Coalition's face to the public, as well as coordinating efforts at the regional level.
Using a grant received from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the CES pushed forward over a five year period to create more CES schools and to change a number of existing schools into CES schools. This initiative included converting 22 existing high schools, building 10 new high schools, and breaking two existing high schools up into a number of smaller CES schools. This initiative strengthened the CES network of schools and helped the Coalition spread all over the country. At present day, the Coalition of Essential Schools is a major force in school reform in the United States.