Curtis Lewis, Ph. D.
Dr. Curtis L. Lewis is the esteemed Founder and CEO of the Black Male Educators Alliance (BMEA). Additionally, he holds the positions of Assistant Professor of Teacher Education and Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum (MATC) at Michigan State University. Dr. Lewis’ expertise lies in the philosophy and implementation of restorative practices and culturally sustaining pedagogy within K-12 school communities. He is dedicated to addressing the inequities present in schools that hinder the academic success of students of color. With a specific focus on K-8 mathematics teaching and learning, school leadership development, and the dismantling of oppressive educational structures, Dr. Lewis is committed to amplifying students’ voices and fostering liberatory educational practices.
During his graduate studies, Dr. Lewis coordinated an intervention program for first-time youth offenders and served as the Director of a mentoring program for young males of color in Lansing, Michigan. These experiences, supported by a research grant in collaboration with Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, served as a foundation for his subsequent work. In 2017, Dr. Lewis established the Black Male Educators Alliance (BMEA) with the primary objective of recruiting, engaging, and developing Black male educators. BMEA’s mission has since expanded to transform the educational experience for Black and Brown children through the implementation of culturally sustaining policies, structured programming, and effective pedagogy. BMEA’s impact has grown exponentially in just over five years, encompassing over 30 schools in Detroit, Chicago, and New York and reaching as far as China. This collective effort has positively affected the lives of more than 9,000 students.
Dr. Lewis’s Founding Elementary School Principal achievements include maintaining a remarkable 95% staff retention rate and ensuring a 98% student attendance rate. Under his leadership, each grade level witnessed significant growth in reading and math proficiency, contributing to the overall academic success of the school. Transitioning to the role of Turnaround Principal for the district’s middle and high school, Dr. Lewis led a transformative journey that elevated the school from a designated priority status to being among the top five schools in Detroit based on average SAT scores. With an emphasis on art and design education, the school’s students garnered local and national recognition for their exceptional artwork and expertise in the field. The school achieved an outstanding 90% attendance rate, over 95% graduation rate, and 100% of graduates were accepted into post-secondary institutions. Driven by his commitment to restorative practices, suspension rates decreased by 75%, and staff retention reached 90%. Further ascending to the role of Chief Academic Officer for a 10-school network, Dr. Lewis developed a strategic plan rooted in culturally responsive and restorative practices. Notably, he established a network-wide consultation team to ensure equitable disciplinary processes for all students.
Recognized for his remarkable contributions to education, Professor Lewis has dedicated over 20 years of service to traditional public and charter school systems. His extensive background as a classroom teacher, K-12 math instruction researcher, transformative Founding and Turnaround Principal, and visionary Chief Academic Officer has shaped his authentic perspective and deep desire for change. Dr. Lewis’ influence extends to education policy through his thought leadership with Launch Michigan and his membership on the State of Michigan’s Teacher Evaluation and Professional Teacher and Administrative Standards committees. Nationally, he collaborates with educators, universities, and schools nationwide as a Math Integration Consultant for the Open Sci Ed curriculum development team.
Dr. Curtis L. Lewis’s distinguished achievements have garnered numerous accolades and recognition for his expertise, instructional leadership, and transformative impact on school communities nationwide. In 2018, he was honored as a Men of Excellence recipient by the Michigan Chronicle, acknowledging his extraordinary commitment to education. Dr. Lewis also serves as an active board member of the American Montessori Academy in Metropolitan Detroit and takes immense pride in being a devoted father to his four incredible children.
Curtis Lewis, Ph. D.
Founder / CEO