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[xmca] FW: Ted Sizer R.I.P.

>                         Ted Sizer
>            (June 23, 1932 - October 21, 2009)
> It is with great sadness that we at The Forum share with
> you the news of the death of our friend and mentor, Ted
>Sizer.  Ted lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday while
>                 at home with his family.
>In 1984 Ted founded the Coalition of Essential Schools and
>launched a wave of school restructuring based on engaging
>  all young people in challenging and engaging tasks in
> order that they might learn to use their minds well.  He
>dared to challenge the conventional wisdom that seat time
>     equaled learning, that grades actually measured
>   performance, and that students should be sorted for
>instruction by perceived ability. With his inspiration new
> schools were launched, programs developed, and literally
>  hundreds of thousands of students found themselves in
>          schools that treated them as learners.
>  In 2003 Ted, along with his wife Nancy, and colleague
> Deborah Meier, launched The Forum.  Recognizing that the
> schools he loved and cared about were facing unfriendly
> state and federal policy agendas, he wanted to create a
>  way to bring the lessons learned from the field to the
>    policy debates in Washington.  It was his time and
> generosity that gave The Forum life, and he served as a
>             valued advisor up to his death.
>Ted Sizer knew schools.  Whenever he visited one he made a
>  simple request-could he please have a student show him
>   around first.  Ted knew that to really see a school
>required seeing it through the eyes of the students.  They
>  told him the stories that would fill his books and his
>writing.  Most importantly, he heard them long to do great
>  things in an institution that often treated them as if
>            they were only there to kill time.
> Ted Sizer knew and cared about teachers as well. When he
>   wrote about the teacher Horace in his widely praised
>     Horace book series, it was not with a haughty or
> judgmental tone.   Instead he wrote about teachers with
>   respect, and fought for school structures that would
>     empower and enable them to do their best work.  
> We will miss Ted Sizer and his tireless voice of reason.
>  The image that will be forever etched in my mind is of
>Ted, head resting on one hand, the other hand busy taking
> notes, listening intently to whomever was speaking.  And
>then, in his ever so thoughtful way, cutting to the heart
>of the matter at hand and insisting that we speak plainly,
> forcefully, and, yes, lovingly, about what is essential
>  about schooling-that being the careful cultivation of
>                  every child's mind.  
> While Ted Sizer's voice has been stilled, his ideas and
>dreams live on through the work of the many educators and
> students whose hearts he touched.  We are all better for
>having known him, and we thank his wife Nancy and his fine
>children and grandchildren for sharing him with us.  Rest
>                  in peace, dear friend.
>                       George Wood
>                on behalf of The Conveners
>    The Forum for Education and Democracy  1307 New
>   York Ave. NW, Suite 300
>   Washington, DC  20005
>   www.forumforeducation.org
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