As a playwright-researcher at Ed Trust for the last 12 years, my job has been to gather and tell other people’s stories — primarily those of students and educators — in an effort to spark conversations about educational practice and equity. So, with a duffel bag full of costumes, I’ve traveled the country to share these stories in the way I know how: on make-shift stages in school cafeterias and neighborhood churches, in hotel ballrooms and cramped boardrooms. And what we’ve learned over the years through what initially seemed a rather unorthodox strategy is that stories — and student stories in particular — are extraordinarily powerful in getting educators talking.

I write now to introduce a new parallel written series, called Echoes From the Gap. With the raw stories and perspectives of students front and center, Echoes From the Gap examines educational equity and opportunity issues by drawing on the experiences of young people in high schools across the country, both those serving students well and those struggling to.

The first installment, “The Writing on the Hall,” follows students through metal detectors and school hallways where the words on the cinderblock walls don’t always match the other messages educators send.

And we hope you’ll “echo” back: Throughout this series we’re going to reach out to you for your ideas and your stories, and we’re going to share back what we hear. To start, share your thoughts on college and career readiness in our quick poll.