Learning Principles

1. The school should focus on helping students to learn to use their minds well.

2. Each student should master a number of essential skills and areas of knowledge. Curricular decisions should be guided by student interest, developmentally appropriate practice, and the aim of thorough student mastery and achievement. All students should have opportunities to construct meaning from their own experiences.

3. The school's goals should apply to all students. Teachers who know their students well can individualize instruction without limiting their expectations of any students.

4. Teaching and learning should be personalized, with teachers and principles "unreservedly" responsible for what is studied, how time is spent, and what materials and pedagogies are used.

5. The governing metaphor of the school should be student-as-worker, rather than the more familiar metaphor, teacher-as-deliverer-of-instructional-services.

6. Teaching and learning should be documented and assessed with tools based on student performance of real tasks. Multiple forms of evidence should be used to better understand the learner's strengths and needs for further assistance. Students should have opportunities to exhibit before family and community, with the emphasis on the students' demonstration that they can do important things.

7. Families should be vital members of the school community. The tone of the school should explicitly stress unanxious expectation, trust, and decency for all members of the school community.

8. The principal and teachers should perceive themselves as generalists first and specialists second. 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 substantial time for collective planning by teachers, competitive salaries for staff and an ultimate per pupil cost not to exceed that of traditional schools by more than 10 percent.

10. The school should demonstrate non-discriminatory and inclusive policies, practices and pedagogies. It should model democratic practices that involve all who are directly affected by the school. The school should honor diversity and build on the strengths of its communities, deliberately and explicitly challenging all forms of inequity.