Mastery Charter-Shoemaker Campus

Posted Oct. 27, 2017

I’m a White Male Teacher Teaching Black Kids and We Have to Talk About That

It happens every year. One day, in my classroom in a school that serves a nearly 100 percent African-American population, perhaps after we analyze a…

By Zachary Wright 

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Posted Oct. 16, 2017

The Principal That Leads Is the Principal That Is Seen

Leadership is a word that has been bandied about so much it has lost its true essence. The proliferation of “leaders” on book covers, political…

By Zachary Wright 

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Posted June 16, 2017

I Have 770 Children. Okay, Not Really. But I Love My Students All the Same.

“Education among all kinds of men, always had, and always will have, an element of…revolution.” —W.E.B DuBois “The most revolutionary thing a Black man can…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted June 7, 2017

I Was a Principal in Southwest Philly and That Didn’t Stop These Black Cops From Pulling Me Over

All year our eighth-grade students have been grappling with social justice issues and how to address them. They’ve closely analyzed past movements in America and…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Nov. 14, 2016

Here’s What I Told My Black Students to Remember Now That Trump Is President

The morning after the election, Philadelphia was fresh off a six-day public transit strike. Now our students, who had demonstrated high levels of grit and…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Oct. 19, 2016

Before You Get Rid of ‘No Excuses’ Discipline, Hear Me Out

I’m concerned about the growing backlash against what are referred to as “no excuses” schools. Too often, critics depict overly-rigid approaches to discipline that pave…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Oct. 13, 2016

The NAACP Was Founded by White People and It Still Isn’t Looking Out for Black Families

Some organizations are committed to a cause. Everyone knows exactly what they stand for. Look at Greenpeace—everybody knows that they’re about reducing human harm to…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted June 28, 2016

To My Students: Your Civil Rights Movement Is Now

Last Friday, I ended my 24th year working with the youth of our city and my 23rd year working directly in schools. I currently have…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Nov. 13, 2017

The Worst Thing About Being a Homeless Student Was the Hunger

Have you ever been so hungry that it caused you physical pain? I’m not talking the kind of hunger that sneaks up when you’ve realized…

By Lizzy Shoben

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Posted Nov. 10, 2017

Could This Teacher and Leadership Program Be Part of the ‘Secret Sauce’ for Chicago Schools?

In most urban school districts, “turnaround” is a dirty word. Turnaround schools are first identified as failing and left to languish for some time in…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Nov. 13, 2017

I Didn’t Want My Students to Have to Choose Between Hunger and Making Friends

I have a weakness. I’m not good at saying no. Last summer, I was invited to attend a focus group on school breakfast at the…

By Angela Homan

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