Focusing on meaningful progress made in some inner-city school or school with failing test scores would be relevant. There have been in-roads made in saving the students that many consider lost causes.
In Harlem, for instance, there is a school that two brothers, both college graduates (one is a lawyer) from this area began. In this school, nothing but Standard English is allowed--even in the cafeteria or outdoors. With the strict standards in and outside the classroom, the success rate at this school is amazing.
One thing you might do is interview several adults of different ages about their experiences in school. People always say that schools were better in the old days. Maybe through research you could find out if that really is true or not.
Certainly, I think that one particular idea upon which to write is the idea of how teachers can forge meaningful relationships with students. With all of the emphasis on student achievement and the cramming of content in students' minds, we really have misplaced this idea. Braithwaite's narrative demonstrates that teaching students who they are is probably as important if not more important as what they are being taught. I think that this might be a topic on which to write an article because the lessons that are stressed in the narrative is that in order for a teacher to be an effective educator in the lives of students, there has to be a deliberate forging of bonds between both parties. Braithwaite is only an effective teacher once he gets to know his students. This involves risks because, like all relationships, power is decreased. The teacher who follows Braithwaite's model is one who is willing to understand that power is a shared concept, something that must validate both the teacher's voice and the student's experience. It is here where I think a significant lesson can be gained from Braithwaite's work, and upon which a great topic for writing can be seen.
Perhaps you could write about a lost generation and what has lead to them being so lost. This could be done with some research in the social angle.