Professor Elliot Moesser presents at the ICS Equity Institute.

A Concordia University Wisconsin professor will address public school administrators from across the nation this weekend, and will share the success of a collaborative effort among Wisconsin schools to promote equity for all learners.

Dr. Elliott Moeser, associate professor of education at CUW, received a prestigious invite to speak at The School Superintendents Association’s National Conference on Education, which an estimated 5,000 educators will attend Feb. 15-17 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Brown Deer School District Director of Teaching and Learning Monica Kelsey-Brown, and Glendale-River Hills School District Superintendent Larry Smalley will join Moeser in presenting on “Cooperation, Collaboration and Coordination in the Pursuit of Equity” during the annual conference’s Saturday morning breakout sessions.

The four presenters represent, and will bring their insights on, the groundbreaking work of the Closing the Achievement Gap Consortium. Started in 2012, the consortium consists of 26 public, private, choice, and parochial schools and districts in Wisconsin. Its mission is “To embrace and change, with all deliberate speed, school practices, instructional methodology and school structures that perpetuate achievement and/or opportunity gaps and equity in our schools.”

The presenters will offer ways to address equity and the achievement gap in school districts, and will share how the consortium is collaboratively developing effective strategies to close the achievement gaps in their schools.

“It is really an honor to speak in front of so many individuals who are in a position to make an impact on this issue in their schools,” Moeser said before he left for the conference. “What we’ve found is that cooperation, coordination and collaboration among school districts is critical to equity.”

One of the strategies the CAGC has employed to promote equity for learners is the annual African American Male Initiative Summer Institute, a mentorship and personal growth opportunity for young African American men who attend one of the schools in the consortium. Over the summer, the attendees stay overnight in dorms on the Concordia University campus and participate in a variety of exercises and experiences aimed at encouraging them to graduate and pursue higher education. Young adult leaders stay connected with the youth year-round to offer support and ongoing mentorship.

The CAGC will also pilot a Female African American Initiative Summer Institute this year. The next AAMI Summer Institute will take place July 24-27, and the AAFI Summer Institute will take place June 26-29 on Concordia’s Mequon campus.

Learn more about the Closing the Achievement Gap Consortium.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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