Keeping School: Letters to Families from Principals of Two Small Schools

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9780807032640: Keeping School: Letters to Families from Principals of Two Small Schools
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Education reformers Deborah Meier, Theodore Sizer, and Nancy Sizer have published books that are acknowledged classics of education writing—books that have literally helped shape a movement centered on small schools, community, and alternative visions of teaching and learning.

But as school principals, all three have also done another kind of writing, as well. Every week as principles they wrote short essays in their schools' newsletters to families. Sharp and accessible but intellectually ambitious, these little essays talk about everything from homework to discipline, from academic expectations to reading for pleasure.

Keeping School collects the best of these gems from the two schools the authors have most recently run: an urban public elementary school in Boston, and an exurban charter secondary school thirty miles west in Devens, Massachusetts.

There could be no better portrait of the kind of small school that Meier and the Sizers advocate—and the values behind them—than these elegant, thoughtful, intimate letters. They are organized around the themes of Authority, Community, Learning, and Standards, and the writers, who have been friends and colleagues for years, frame them with new essays on those larger topics.

Reflecting decades of practical wisdom, this collection is a portrait of a different way of "keeping school" and an essential companion to books like Ted Sizer's Horace's Compromise, Ted and Nancy Sizer's The Students Are Watching, and Meier's The Power of Their Ideas.

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About the Author:

Theordore R. Sizer, University Professor Emeritus at Brown Universtiy, is the chairman of the coalition of Essential Schools. He lives in Harvard, Massachusetts.

Review:

A delightful read. An immensely useful resource for educators working to start new schools or reinvigorate existing ones.--Rethinking Schools

"Theodore Sizer and Deborah Meier are among the secular saints of progressive education . . . One of their most admirable qualities may be their determination to continue being provocative . . . Mr. Sizer joins with his wife, Nancy Faust Sizer, and Ms. Meier to speak more directly to parents in Keeping School . . . The book is a potent reminder of how much school culture is a matter of personal chemistry, rather than distant policy making." --New York Times

"As readers, we gain incredible insight into a unique way of holding schools accountable."--School Administrator

"The authors chose the term 'keeping school' to illustrate the broad range of thought and action that goes into the 'collective craft' of education . . . An intimate look at practical applications of school-reform concepts, which parents and teachers will appreciate." --Booklist

Deborah Meier, founder of the Mission Hill School in Roxbury, Massachusetts, is author of The Power of Their Ideas, In Schools We Trust, and Will Standards Save Public Education? Theodore and Nancy Sizer were coprincipals of the Parker Charter High School. Ted is the author of many books, including Horace's Compromise; Nancy is the author of Crossing the Stage; and Ted and Nancy are coauthors of The Students Are Watching.

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9780807032657: Keeping School: Letters to Families from Principals of Two Small Schools

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ISBN 10:  0807032654 ISBN 13:  9780807032657
Publisher: Beacon Press, 2005
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