Sharif El-Mekki

Blogger

CEO, Center for Black Educator Development

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sharif El-Mekki is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development. The Center exists to ensure there will be equity in the recruiting, training, hiring, and retention of quality educators that reflect the cultural backgrounds and share common socio-political interests of the students they serve.

The Center is developing a nationally relevant model to measurably increase teacher diversity and support Black educators through four pillars: Professional learning, Pipeline, Policies and Pedagogy. So far, the Center has developed ongoing and direct professional learning and coaching opportunities for Black teachers and other educators serving students of color. The Center also carries forth the freedom or liberation school legacy by hosting a Freedom School that incorporates research-based curricula and exposes high school and college students to the teaching profession to help fuel a pipeline of Black educators.

Prior to founding the Center, El-Mekki served as a nationally recognized principal and U.S. Department of Education Principal Ambassador Fellow. El-Mekki’s school, Mastery Charter Shoemaker, was recognized by President Obama and Oprah Winfrey, and was awarded the prestigious EPIC award for three consecutive years as being amongst the top three schools in the country for accelerating students’ achievement levels. The Shoemaker Campus was also recognized as one of the top ten middle school and top ten high schools in the state of Pennsylvania for accelerating the achievement levels of African-American students.

Over the years, El-Mekki has served as a part of the U.S. delegation to multiple international conferences on education. He is also the founder of the Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice, an organization dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and developing Black male teachers. El-Mekki blogs on Philly’s 7th Ward, is a member of the 8 Black Hands podcast, and serves on several boards and committees focused on educational and racial justice.

RECENT POSTS

Posted May 24, 2021

A Year Later, One Thing Is Clear: Being ‘Woke’ Isn’t Nearly Enough

It has been a year since the murder of George Floyd and the “American Spring” that followed it. Corporate America,…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted May 21, 2021

The Real History of Teachers Being Complicit in the Miseducation of Black and White Children

As we celebrate and honor what would have been Malcolm X’s 96th birthday this week, I can’t help but think…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted May 11, 2021

This Is the Moment to Tackle Teacher Diversity. We Can’t Wait.

President Biden has put our nation’s education system front and center, recently announcing plans for enormous investments in education from…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted May 5, 2021

No, You Should Not Be Teaching Black Children if You Reject Anti-Racism

There would be no lynching if it did not start in the schoolroom. Dr. Carter G. Woodson The news has…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Apr. 21, 2021

Most White Teachers Are Not Ready to Teach Black and Brown Students

Effective teachers can change and save lives, but being a great teacher is hard. The challenge is especially acute in our…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Mar. 1, 2021

Inside the Decade-Long Plan to Recruit, Hire and Retain 9,000 Black Educators Across the Country

Across the entire United States, there aren’t nearly enough Black teachers inside classrooms.  According to the National Center for Education…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Feb. 26, 2021

Want a National Effort to Combat COVID Learning Loss? Study Your Black History.

We know all too well Black and brown students in marginalized communities are now bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted June 30, 2020

To Teach Black Children Superbly Is a Revolutionary Act

Dear Freedom School Literacy Team 2020, Across the nation, we started the summer of 2020, lighting up the streets with…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Jan. 22, 2020

Everyone Progresses With a Progressive Platform, Except for Black and Brown Children.

I’ve had the chance to travel a lot in my work as an educator and activist, and frequently I find…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Dec. 12, 2019

Black Families Haven’t Been Hoodwinked, We Come From a Legacy of School Choice

The Democratic party once embraced charter schools as a tool for equity and opportunity. Now, as Andre Perry points out…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted Oct. 12, 2021

Q&A With Paige Kowalski: Getting Transparent About Student Data

Student data. Standardized testing. Accountability. These words set off a lot of big feelings among parents, educators and policymakers — especially fear and anger. Controversies…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Oct. 13, 2021

6 Ways We Can Help Reverse COVID Learning Loss for English Learners

Twenty-one months have passed since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency. With a new school year underway, the United States (U.S.) public school system…

By Pedro Olvera

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Posted Oct. 8, 2021

Your Thanksgiving Clip Art and Crafts Might Be Microaggressions. Here’s How to Do Better.

In March, Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to cease publication of six of the prolific writer’s works due to his demeaning caricatures of non-white ethnicities. This…

By B. Manker, Ed.D

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