The American desire to improve education has set off a flurry of activity to reform schools. In such a climate of restructuring, Sizer explores what better secondary schools might "look like" if indeed they existed. His consideration of the improved high school is based on five particular conditions — all of which support teachers and students in their engagement with the serious stuff of learning and all of which must exist in one form or another for schools to be effective. The conditions are cast as questions. Sizer locates the responsibility for school reform broadly, from the heart of a school — the relationships between teachers and students — to the life and behaviors of the community in which that school is nestled. This article is a collective call to action around ultimately simple and sensible ideas reminiscent of a form of civic participation long overdue.



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