In his first book, Inner-City Public Schools Still Work, Dr. Mateen Diop details how racism, poverty, naysayers, and his sister's sexual abuse influenced his mindset as he navigated a path filled with unforeseen detours. He also discusses the effectiveness of inner-city public schools and the looming charter school movement. In this second edition, Dr. Diop chronicles his final years in education as a central office administrator and the hurdles he encountered while serving as principal of one of San Antonio's most challenging high schools. Also, he offers advice to sitting and aspiring principals who lead inner-city schools. The Making of a MAD Man invites readers to remain positive and motivated despite adversity and to have an unwavering determination to achieve their goals.
Dr. Diop is a former teacher, principal, and school district executive leader. He spent 25 years in the education field and has overseen some of the toughest schools in Bexar County. As a teacher, Dr. Diop overcame language barriers with his students to eventually lead an energetic group of middle school students to academic greatness, scoring near the top of every metric on state assessments. As a school principal, Dr. Diop instituted his Theory of Action to transform several inner-city neighborhood schools from "Low Performing" to "Recognized" status from the state of Texas. As a district-level Executive Director, Dr. Diop planned, designed, and implemented the first-of-its-kind Young Men's and Young Women's Leadership Academies. Dr. Diop has transformed and led schools to the top of every measurable statistical (academic, cultural) category.
Dr. Diop grew up in San Antonio, TX, in one of Bexar Counties' poorest zip code. As a youth, Dr. Diop experienced countless episodes of racism and underachieving. When family circumstances forced he and his mother to flee their home, Dr. Diop was left alone in an apartment in a different neighborhood. Not knowing who to trust, Dr. Diop dealt with constant racist behavior from his new schoolmates, teachers, and the community he now called home. Dr. Diop says it was only through the grace of God that he didn't lose his life, or otherwise become a ward of the state. Eventually, Dr. Diop would return to his inner-city neighborhood to graduate from high school and begin his journey to manhood. Dr. Diop is a veteran of the United States Air Force and actually credits his time in service as a turning point in his life.
"My goal as a speaker is to motivate audiences to believe that with the power of your mind you can overcome any obstacle in your path. To school leaders, you must be intentional about the success of your schools. There must be structures and systems in place to ensure that all students are learning. Believe in yourself and your journey. NEVER think that someone else has the answers to your problems. YOU are the author of your story"!