Ever try to explain charter schools to a Canadian? It’s . . . difficult. There are so many things about the American education system that make it a very weird animal. And just as unique as our one-of-a-kind educational landscape is the educational experience of every single student, parent, educator, and policy maker in America. We all have a story.
I’ve seen a lot of the American educational landscape. But so has just about everybody else in America. That’s what I love so much about education. Try bringing it up at a dinner party sometime, and everyone will have something to say. Or rant. It’s as ubiquitous as the weather and can elicit as much debate as sports, politics, or religion. It can lift us up. It can leave us out. It can give us hope.
Even within a single family, experiences can be incredibly diverse. From my mother’s one-room-schoolhouse to my father’s Catholic seminary (which obviously didn’t work out as planned) to my own urban high school, there are a lot of stories to be told.
There are few forums for the recounting of those stories, though. I want to change that, even if it’s just a little bit. For all of the books and articles and lectures on education, narrative is rare. In a field of practice and research, numbers and data are almost always privileged over personal accounts.
My goal is to bring more voices to the discourse about education. Luckily for me, everyone has something to say.