August 20, 2013 Hana Imoisili is currently working for Green Dot Public Schools on their Locke campus as the English teacher and a reading intervention specialist at Locke I Preparatory Academy. This fall, she will be shifting gears to become the lead teacher at their credit-recovery academy. Hana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in Journalism, a Masters in Secondary Education from University of Phoenix, and is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy at USC.
She is working with CCSA's Research and Evaluation team to learn about the policy implications of common core on charter schools as it relates to the critical issues that need to be considered and weighed during the implementation process. Hana hopes to present her findings and recommendations to CCSA and Green Dot to help with their transitional plans to implement common core.
Describe the project you worked on this summer.
This summer, I have extensively researched the on-going implementation process of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) including interviewing early adopters. I am focusing on a series of critical issues that need to be considered and weighed when implementing the CCSS. My overall findings will inform the entire staff of CCSA.
What drew you to working in research?
As a teacher in an inner-city charter school, I understand the various issues because I am on the front line. I want to be a part of the change that needs to happen in education right now. So, I sought after the experience to work for CCSA hoping to get a better understanding of what it is like to work within policy reform. I am so grateful to have been afforded this amazing opportunity because I have grown from this experience.
What has been the most surprising thing you've learned in the course of your work this summer?
I was very surprised how much I learned about my research topic as it was developing but I was more surprised to realize how much I wanted to join a reform movement such as CCSA's team of knowledgeable change agents.
What was your familiarity with charter schools before working at CCSA? How has your view of charter schools changed?
I currently teach at a charter school and have been doing so for five years but before working at CCSA I did not know much about different models of charter schools. Understanding how unrestricted students are to free quality education, I now appreciate the variation of learning opportunities that charter schools have afforded families who want better opportunities for their children. I am coming out of this experience with a better understanding of how important it is to expand the charter school movement while strengthening the existing ones.
What changes would you like to see in our public education system?
As a teacher, I have recognized the value of having every stakeholder on the same page. I would like to implement a community support program that provides tools and strategies to parents that will hopefully empower them to be knowledgeable advocates for their children.
What are you interested in doing in the future?
While I'm in grad school, I would like to hone the necessary skills that will make me competitive to work within the field of Educational Policy/Advocacy.