M. Night Shyamalan’s most chilling tale yet—his forthcoming book about education

Wading through the horrors of the US education system.
Wading through the horrors of the US education system.
Image: AP Photo/Gautam Singh
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming book is not what you’d expect from the director best known for his works about the supernatural.

It’s on education reform.

Titled Schooled, the book’s description says Shyamalan was inspired while scouting locations for a film:

M. Night Shyamalan spent time in two Philadelphia-area schools—one a welcoming institution, the other a building with metal detectors, windows with bars, and locked classroom doors. The striking difference resonated with the filmmaker, convincing him to become more involved in education reform. Now, after years of dedicating himself to the issue and consulting with America’s leading education experts and reformers, he has found something astonishing in the research.

His discovery is that the schools that are doing well share five common characteristics:

– Longer hours, such as an increased school day or extended year

– Small schools

– Data-driven instruction

– Leaders who teach instead of spending time on administration

– Great teachers

Published by Simon & Shuster, the book is heralded as “a guide that should inform America’s ongoing debate about how to improve our educational system.” Incidentally, the publisher reportedly once mulled a lawsuit against the director after author Margaret Peterson Haddix said the movie, The Village, was uncannily similar to her 1995 children’s book Running Out of Time.

The book is due to release on Sept. 10, 2013.