Efrain MercadoDirector, Education

    Mr. Mercado is currently the Director, Education for Children Now. In this role he will provide leadership on developing and promoting a system of support and intervention for struggling schools and districts in California.

    Prior to this role he held the position of Senior Policy Director for the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) and provided policy leadership to County Offices of Education and to the state around standards, assessment, and accountability. Prior to his work with CCSESA he served as the Project Director for the Common Core State Standards at the National Association for State Boards of Education where he worked to help state boards of education across the nation lead and direct policy to ensure fidelity of implementation of the standards and related initiatives. Prior to his State Board work he was the Lead Strategist for the Common Core State Standards at ASCD. In this role Mr. Mercado focused on increasing awareness and support of the standards among K-12 policymakers and educators. He also engaged with states and districts to help identify, develop, and disseminate practical tools and resources for educators to use in implementing the common core state standards at the local level.

    Mr. Mercado comes to Children Now with a background in developing partnerships to promote College and Career Readiness for all students. While with ACT, Inc. Efrain worked as a regional consultant and then as the Director of Outreach for the National Center for Educational Achievement (a department of ACT, Inc.) where he worked with state education agencies and school districts to promote and advocate for the use of best practices to achieve College and Career Readiness. He also brings extensive college preparation experience from his previous roles as a master tutor/teacher for the Princeton Review and as the president and founder of Premier Prep, a test preparation and college admission counseling company. Mr. Mercado holds a B.A. in U.S. History from the University of California at Riverside.

    While in high school Mr. Mercado was a part of the federal TRIO program, Upward Bound, based at the University of California, Riverside.

    A native of California, Mr. Mercado now resides in El Dorado Hills, California with his wife Melanie and their three children, Madison, Sean and Bryant.