A former high school dropout from an urban public school system, Senior Writer Brooke Haycock has been with The Education Trust for more than a decade. Her issue-focused docudramas, based entirely on interviews with students and educators, transform research into performance, exposing the stories behind the data and driving straight to the heart of debate around equity in schools. Brooke is the author of Ed Trust’s Echoes From the Gap series, and her other off-stage writing —focused on student stories and message communication in schools — has appeared in Phi Delta Kappan and is regularly featured in Ed Trust’s blog, The Equity Line. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of California–Santa Barbara and a master’s from Johns Hopkins.
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Why are you passionate about working at Ed Trust?
As a former high school dropout, I know what it feels like to struggle like the students I talk to in schools all the time. How the wobbly, cracked plastic seats in the back of the class feel when you slump down in them trying to disappear. The feel of low-level assignment after low level assignment being more a gauge of your ability to follow directions than to think. The dull, monotonous buzz of the fluorescent strip lighting in the detention hall and how the room is filled with the same kids everyday despite no evidence of this particular intervention working. The door that stays unlocked after homeroom and the convenience store that will sell cigarettes to minors and let you loiter outside while nobody looks for you. Eroded expectations and wrong-headed adult assumptions and the damage they can do to a kid already questioning their worth and whether they’re smart. I know what it feels like to give up.
And I know what it feels like to change.
In my time at Ed Trust, I’ve seen schools that change lives. Schools so bursting with energy and belief and smarts where students literally transform. I’ve seen teachers draw out of students beautiful ideas and gifts even the students themselves never even knew they had to share. I’ve seen principals and school resource officers talk and listen to students with the love and respect they hunger for. I’ve seen it being done. And this former high school drop-out is forever changed because of it. I work at Ed Trust because its mission is my heart and every day I get to work alongside people who believe fiercely in all kids and the power of schools to change America.