As an inner-city high school teacher, I witness the problems of our nation’s education system daily: students who perform far below grade level, home lives that would prevent even the brightest to effectively concentrate, teachers who lack an intelligence necessary to educate and politicians who refuse to confront a clear problem. I decided to create this space for collective conversation and action concerning the challenges surrounding our public education and find solutions for our schools.
Creating a blog to solve our nation’s education crisis . . . a real novel idea? This blog, however, will be different. I am seeking to tell the story of our nation’s failing school systems through the eyes of those it affects: students, parents, teachers and communities. Everyday I will present a post by first illustrating a personal experience from within the public school system (some funny, others touching, some angering and others sad) and then link that experience to an educational issue. In other words, I am seeking to make the conversation and action on education reform personal, relatable and understandable to all individuals. Instead of the usual foggy research numbers, teacher salary debates and mind-numbing statistics that dominate most education reform discussions, this blog will focus on personal experiences (though some necessary numbers will be included). I will share my personal experiences and thoughts and I hope you will share yours because once people understand the personal effects of our nation’s education crisis, it is my bet they will become part of the initiative to change it.
Everyday, I purposely divert from the highways, taking the long way to school so that I may see, feel, and smell the community my students inhabit. There is a point in my daily drive where one world ends and another begins. Driving over a bridge with a Martin Luther King, Jr. billboard looking on above, I hit a pot hole, a simple bump in the road changing the landscape from lush greenery to desolate and broken streets. Run-down houses and unkempt lawns outline a forgotten community—a ghost town given life only by the lines outside of the fast-cash loan stores and shady cell phone providers. Closer to school, I am greeted by familiar citizens of my students’ neighborhoods: crack addicts, gang members and half-dressed bus patrons waiting in the smoldering heat for a ride to nowhere. Stray dogs run amuck, as I think to myself, “Is this my students’ future?” I have created this blog to provide for thoughtful conversations, bold actions and solutions for our nation’s most in-need schools and students so it will not be.
In order to end the education crisis in America, we will need to bring everyone together, from all economic sectors, ideologies, and social classes, for conversation, research and, most importantly, bold action. Whether you are an educator or a businessman, a politician or student an artist or an athlete YOUR opinion matters in this discussion. Feel free to comment with ideas, solutions and calls to action. Together we will identify internal and external problems throughout the public school system, taking a multi-layered approach to solving the education crisis. Please spread the word about this blog and contribute freely and frequently. I look forward to taking the first steps in solving our nation’s education problem with you. Together we can ensure that the side of a bridge one is born on will no longer determine his or her life prospects.
If you are interested in contributing to the content on this site, feel free to get in touch with me on the Contact page.
please note for legal reasons it must be stated stories and characters are loosely based from experience, conversations, research and media. All characters, however, reflect the many layers of the education crisis