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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
> The Forum for Education and Democracy PO Box 216
> Amesville, OH 45711
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