Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sizer’s Schools: Solution to Substandard Secondary Schooling?

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent discussion-list post “Sizer's Schools: Solution to Substandard Secondary Schooling?” [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: I have found that few high-school teachers are aware of the exemplary work of the late Theodore Sizer and his "Coalition of Essential Schools" I suspect that they, like Horace, the high-school English teacher in Sizer’s classic 1984 Horace's Compromise, are so overworked and underpaid that they have little time for anything but meeting their classes, grading papers, and putting food on the table.

At the time of Sizer’s death in 2009, Patrick J. McQuillan wrote an insightful eulogy to Sizer in an Education Week article titled “What Ted Sizer Meant to Us” at which concluded:

“With the passing of Ted Sizer, progressive educators have an opportunity to reflect on and reinvigorate American education with a commitment to ensuring that all students are known and held to high standards, that we create conditions which allow teachers to realize these ideals, and that America becomes a more informed, more caring, and more thoughtful nation.”

Those who wish to dig deeper into the heroic efforts of Ted Sizer to improve high-school education in the U.S. might be interested in the 7 books preceded by double asterisks ** in the REFERENCE list of the complete post.

To access the complete 16 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles:
Links to SDI Labs:

“Reform efforts must move beyond today’s narrow habit of conceiving education as only something that adults formally 'deliver' to children in classrooms."
- Ted Sizer (2003)

REFERENCES [URL’s shortened by and accessed on 15 July 2012.
Hake, R.R. 2012. “Sizer's Schools: Solution to Substandard Secondary Schooling?” online on the OPEN AERA-L archives at Post of 15 Jul 2012 13:03:40-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

Sizer, T. 2003. “Two Reports: The reason for disappointing results is likely to be found less in the schools and to be largely due to the manner and settings in which contemporary youths grow up.... Context counts,” Education Week, 23 April; online to subscribers at

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