As the sole university in the Closing the Achievement Gap Consortium (CAGC), Concordia University Wisconsin is providing leadership and expertise and serving as a host site for the summertime efforts, which included multiple professional development opportunities for Wisconsin teachers, as well as the third annual African American Male Initiative, which encourages young men to excel in high school and pursue higher education.
Started in 2012, the CAGC seeks to embrace and change instructional methodologies and structures in schools in Wisconsin – a state which is home to the nation’s highest achievement gaps – Concordia’s object is to address the radically disproportionate academic achievement among diverse groups, especially students of color. The consortium is made up of 26 public, private, parochial, and charter school systems from West Bend to the Illinois border.
“We determined that we could do more work together than apart,” says Dr. Elliott Moeser, Concordia professor and executive director of the CAGC. “We may be in different types of schools, but we all have the same issues in common, and we are all dedicated to serving the students, their parents, our communities, and our profession.”
In June, Concordia – as well as leaders from the consortium and from the State of Wisconsin – honored the former superintendent of Mequon-Thiensville schools, Dr. Demond Means, for his ongoing dedication to closing the achievement gap. Means, a Concordia alumnus, had served as the CAGC chair before accepted a position as superintendent of the Clarke County School District in Georgia.
“We created this consortium to be a really safe place for educators to learn and grow together,” Means said at the ceremony. “I am so proud of the professional development opportunities that our work has made available to our teachers and students, and I am confident that the consortium will continue to do so well into the future.”