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Schooled


I would like to share details about a book I’m working on called Schooled: Conversations About Education. I envision this book as a conversation starter about the state of education. I am not trying to throw a wrench of controversy into an already tense situation in most schools. My intention with this project is to encourage real talk about the state of education on a national scale. COVID has revealed in brutal clarity many of the systemic problems facing education, but once the COVID crisis is over, the systemic problems will remain without necessary reforms. I believe constructive dialogue is necessary to precede reforms, and that conversation needs to include everyone involved in education.


As a society, everyone is impacted by education in some form or another. Students, teachers, and other professionals working in the school system are impacted directly, of course, but the impact is far more widespread than the microcosm of a classroom. Businesses are impacted by education, both by the educational achievement of their entry-level workforce and how interruptions to school (COVID and regular breaks like holidays and summers) impact the parent-workers of school-aged children. Parents who opt to homeschool or pursue private or charter schools in place of public schools are impacted because of the reasons they made those choices for their children. Teachers who decide to either leave the profession or pursue leadership opportunities, either at the district, state or federal level, impact education by leaving the classroom. Senior leadership, such as superintendents, state educational agencies, and the Department of Education, make decisions that trickle down, and once policies are implemented, they may not always see its impact from a social/emotional perspective. These are often difficult decisions, and these decisions significantly impact the state of education. College professors are impacted by the state of K-12 education because many college freshmen retain learning gaps from their K-12 education and struggle with the independent learning required to succeed on a collegiate level.


This book is also not meant to be written from a partisan perspective. Full disclosure of my political beliefs: I am an Independent. There are issues that I wholeheartedly agree with from both parties and issues that I adamantly disagree with from both parties. They each come with different perspectives and objectives. To ignore the politics about education altogether is to ignore a significant contributor to its state today. From accountability testing, allocation of state and federal funds, and immigration, just to list a few, these topics are greatly impacted by the political sway at the time of implementation. I mention this because priorities differ greatly between partisan perspectives. I intend to include educational perspectives from across the political spectrum.


The trials and tribulations of education vary tremendously from state to state, district to district. One of my goals in this book is not to provide a profile of education based on my personal experience or merely a profile of communities that I worked with and taught. I want this book to be a national profile, inclusive of as many voices as I can gather. This book will be well-researched and certainly include nuts and bolts of data, demographics, legislative history, and a cross-section of curriculum standards, but I’m not looking for this book to be a dry academic thesis. More than anything, I want this book to be about the voices of education. I want this to be a conversation that builds beyond an internal dialogue from readers. I want this to incite serious conversations throughout the nation. I want teachers, parents, administrators, business leaders, students, politicians, college professors, and so on to have a voice in these pages.


By the end of December, I intend to begin submitting queries to literary agents about this book. Between now and then, I would like to conduct interviews with as many people as I can. If you are a teacher, former teacher, student, former student, parent, school/district leader, politician, business leader, or anyone impacted in any way by education and would like to contribute to the conversation, please let me know. If you are interested in speaking anonymously, your identity will be safe with me.


On my blog, there is a space to send me messages (https://vanessaforisha.wixsite.com/mamav). If you’d like to have a Zoom interview or if you’d like to contribute a statement about your experiences with education, I would love to hear it. I hope to hear from you all soon.


P.S. On my cover concept, I wrote M.Ed. next to my name. I do not have my Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy, yet. I will by the time this book is published.

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