Standards of Mind and Heart: Creating the Good High School

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Teachers College Press, 2002 - Education - 162 pages
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This is the remarkable story of the creation of a new kind of high school that truly aspires to educate all students to high standards. Believing that a deeply personalized culture can prevent the senseless violence that has invaded many public schools, educators at Souhegan High School in Amherst, New Hampshire set out to create a safe, caring, and academically rigorous school. In this volume, Silva (a teacher) and Mackin (a principal) chronicle their experiences as they worked through the many challenges that ultimately resulted in this extraordinarily successful school. Featuring their honest reflections and the voices of other participants, this book:

-- Portrays a real public high school (not a small alternative school) that is successfully implementing most of the reform practices recommended by national reform models.

-- Demonstrates how schools can strike a balance between the need for stricter safety measures and the social and emotional needs of each student, thus avoiding violent outbursts in schools.

-- Details the school's structure, curriculum, professional culture, and systems of accountability for all students in a heterogeneous, inclusionary setting.

-- Describes the use of teaming, advisory groups, exhibitions, and senior projects.

-- Provides a working model of the "Breaking Ranks" recommendations, including the importance of "personalization" and democracy in education.

 

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User Review  - regularguy5mb - LibraryThing

I love the ideas behind Souhegan High School, and I wish that more schools would adopt their practices. This is the story of how this school started and the way it strives to approach high school ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Change Process Begins
10
From Mindset to Mission
26
From Mission to Practice
39
Beyond Seat Time
84
Building and Sustaining a Strong
120
The Change Process Continues
135
Ten Common Principles of the Coalition
150
About the Authors
161
Copyright

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Page 153 - Ultimate administrative and budget targets should include, in addition to total student loads per teacher of 80 or fewer pupils, substantial time for collective planning by teachers, competitive salaries for staff and an ultimate per pupil cost not to exceed that at traditional schools by more than 10 percent...
Page 153 - Exhibition." This Exhibition by the student of his or her grasp of the central skills and knowledge of the school's program may be jointly administered by the faculty and by higher authorities.
Page 153 - The tone of the school should explicitly and self-consciously stress values of unanxious expectation ("I won't threaten you but I expect much of you"), of trust (until abused), and of decency (the values of fairness, generosity, and tolerance). Incentives appropriate to the school's particular students and teachers should be emphasized, and parents should be treated as essential collaborators. 8.
Page 153 - Staff should expect multiple obligations (teacher-counselor-manager) and a sense of commitment to the entire school. 9. Ultimate administrative and budget targets should include, in addition to total student loads per teacher of 80 or fewer pupils, substantial time for collective planning by teachers, competitive salaries for staff, and an ultimate per-pupil cost not to exceed that at traditional schools by more than 10 percent.

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About the author (2002)

Silva is currently a Humanities teacher at Souhegan High School in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Mackin is the founding principal of Souhegan High School and is now the President of LEAD New England.

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