As we enter the second full week of school here in Boston, I’ve had an Epiphany of late.
I’ve thinking about what’s become my life’s work over the last 14 years now and that has been what I’ve called this blog many times “The Great Work” that is teaching the next generation of childen and young people. One thing I’ve learned over the years is you don’t need a Master’s Degree in Education to teach a student. You don’t even necessarily need to be a student. I have seen many different types of education models from my old school days to the present. I am by no means an expert but one thing I am good at it putting things in an easy to understand language.
This is why I’ve decided to put my plans on an autobiography on hiatus indefinitely. I know that there were some who were legit looking forward to me finally writing and publishing a book about myself and to those folks, you have my apologies. My feelings on the current state of public education are much stronger than even my desire to write a book about myself.
The book will be titled Public misEducation: The Struggle for Justice. The last 20 years in particular haven’t been very kind to Public Education in general. The way it’s portrayed in the media certainly didn’t help. The 1990s in particular were turbulent. No Child Left Behind brought a much-needed layer of accountability to our public school system. Despite this and a few parts of Brown v. Board of Education being overturned (happened in 2010 in case you didn’t know, more on this in a bit), the Achievement Gap is still far too wide for too many students nationwide.
While some with the means (and some without) would either put their kids through private school or home school them, for the vast majority of our nation’s youth, public education is the only choice for American families. It’s for this reason they should be given the education they deserve, not just what we’re willing to pay for.
I have spent the last 10 years amassing a wealth of knowledge on public education and dozens of different classroom, school and district models. The major thing left for me to do are interviews. Interviews with educators, students and families and non-profit organizations with a stake in public education. I expect this part of my research to take at least two years. The planned career change I have in mind will help with that–I feel it would be a conflict of interest for me to do some aspects of my research while still employed by BPS. Some of it has to do with equitiy and studeny privacy concerns while the rest are reasons I will share at a much later time to be decided.
Asking about the book’s planned subject matter is fine. For example, parts of it may been perceived as an attack on the very foundation of the American Public Education system and deliverate shaming of our country’s refusal to hold itself accountable of its obligation to our nation’s students.
That’s because it is.
The National Education Policy and what actually happens in classrooms nationwide are so far out of sync, unless you’re well-informed on the issue it’s really hard to figure out what the best course of action should be. Much of this is because of the language used and the invisible walls that separate familes, educators, schools, districts and policies.
Does Public Education matter? Why is it relevant to me? When does a child’s learning truly begin? In Public misEducation, we will explore possible answers to these questions and others.