Born and reared in Compton, California, Micah Ali brings a keen grasp of the complex issues facing urban schools to help champion students, working families and urban communities. Ali is the longest serving President in the history of the Compton Unified School District, where he helped lead a dramatic turnaround of the district’s educational outcomes as well as help pull it from the brink of state takeover (or state receivership). The District today boasts exponentially increased graduation and college acceptance rates, and a middle college high school, in partnership with Compton Community College, that ranks 53rd among U.S. News and World Report’s top performing public high schools in the state of California.
Ali’s long record of public service and community engagement includes serving as the Chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education in 2017. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in expanding CUBE’s engagement of urban school districts as well as championed (or authored) NSBA’s equity platform. Also while serving as CUBE Chair, he authored several articles on equity in education, covering issues such as fostering welcoming environments for LGBTQA+ student community, special education, and early education.
Ali is also Founder and Conference Chairman of the California Association of Black School Educators, which brings together education leaders and advocates advancing innovation and best practices around closing the opportunity gap for Black students. Most recently, under his leadership, CABSE released a Blueprint for Education Equity—a living document of best and promising practices from across the state to address the opportunity gap for Black students. The Blueprint and CABSE have received support from a host of sponsors and funders, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Ali is also a member of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. He also previously served as a Board Member for both the National School Boards Association and the California School Boards Association.
Throughout his years of service, Ali has been at the forefront of efforts to advance education equity for all students. He works with school districts and education leaders across the United States with a particular focus on helping school boards operationalize equity and high student expectations in order to secure real and measurable improvements in student achievement, student opportunity, fiscal administration, and board governance. Ali has also helped lead legislative efforts in California to broaden access to Early Care and Education for low-income children, establish school-based health centers to make health care more readily available to children in local communities, and expand opportunities for academic excellence in public schools. Ali brings robust experience in achieving organizational transformation, education board effectiveness, land use and development, and ground-breaking partnerships which have significantly marked improvements in student achievement and student opportunity.
Ali recently completed 4-year term on the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board and was recently selected as Chair-Elect of the National Black Council of School Board Members. He is a proud graduate of Loyola Marymount University, where he earned a Master of Arts in Education.