With low achievement and high drop-out rates; plaguing our larger public high schools, communities across the country are creating smaller, more personalized schools that share a larger campus. Drawing on the Coalition of Essential Schools longtime experience in school design, Choosing Small offers practical and strategic guidance for educators interested in transforming their high school. Featuring interviews with educators experienced in school conversion, the book covers all aspects of the conversion planning and implementation process such as: engaging a broad array of stakeholders, working with the district, creating vision statements for the new schools, building leadership and management structures, and identifying curricular options, as well as, instructional needs.
Jay Feldman is director of research at the Coalition of Essential Schools. He has conducted research in child development, whole school change, forms of democratic and equitable schooling, and alternative education. His interests include the educative functions of play and age-mixing, children's moral development, and understandings of race and diversity. He has a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. from Boston College in developmental psychology. M. Lisette Lopez is a senior program associate of the National Small Schools Project of the Coalition of Essential Schools. Prior to CES, Lisette led a range of action research, policy advocacy, and community-based education projects to help build the capacity of schools, youth programs, and community agencies to respond positively and equitably to diverse student populations and communities. She has an M.A. in education from U.C. Berkeley. Katherine G. Simon earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in curriculum and teacher education from the Stanford University School of Education. Originally a high school English and drama teacher, she served as director of research and co-executive director of CES. Katherine is the author of Moral Questions in the Classroom: How to Get Kids to Think Deeply About Real Life and Their School Work (2001), which was named outstanding book in curriculum for 2001-2002 by the American Education Research Association. She is also coauthor of Questioning Practices: Inquiry into Student and Teacher Work (2004). She currently leads workshops for school faculties on curriculum and instructional design and writes on parenting and school reform issues.