Penn Excellence & Equity Consortia

The Penn Excellence & Equity Consortia serves as a resource for school district superintendents and their leadership teams for taking a pro-active social justice and equity leadership role in examining and refining policies and practices that will significantly improve the academic performance of their underperforming students, and close their observed achievement gaps.

About Penn Excellence & Equity Consortia:

Our Projects:


 The Penn Excellence & Equity Consortia focus on inter-district collaboration and shared learning for continuous improvement in eliminating the observed achievement disparities among subgroups of students defined by race/ethnicity and/or economic circumstance. Working intensively over the past eight years, we have developed a unique and cost-effective regional, interstate and intrastate district consortium model in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. 

In 2004, the Penn Center for Educational Leadership, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, collaborated with the School District of Cheltenham Township and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to initiate the Delaware Valley Minority Student Achievement Consortium (DVMSAC).

In 2013, DVMSAC changed its name to the Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence & Equity (DVCEE). This was done to more accurately reflect the group's commitment to assuring the highest quality educational and learning experiences for all of our students

Since its inception, DVCEE has served over 50 districts and partnered with regional county intermediate units, the College Board, and the Pennsylvania State Education Association. 

DVCEE has also served as the foundation for the development and implementation of the New Jersey Network to Close the Achievement Gaps (NJNCAG) in south Jersey, and the Long Island Consortia (LICEE).

DVCEE, NJNCAG, and LICEE now operate as the Leadership for Excellence & Equity Initiatives of the Penn Center for Educational Leadership (PCEL).  The Leadership for Excellence & Equity Initiatives provide high quality professional learning experiences for students, teachers, counselors, principals, central office administrators, school boards, and parents/community representatives.

Membership in the Penn Excellence & Equity Consortia offers: 

  • evidence-based professional learning from nationally-recognized scholars and practitioners
  • innovative strategies for addressing district-school organizational and instructional issues, and student underachievement
  • leadership learning opportunities for middle and high school students of color
  • enhanced recruitment of administrators and teachers of color
  • support in the development and implementation of equity-informed district strategic plans
  • sharing of leadership and learning experiences
  • regular, active collaboration with other consortium districts to examine policies and share promising practices
  • Consortia Mission, Description & Direction

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District Commitments

All districts are committed to attending to the following conditions in their efforts to enhance the achievement engagement and future success of all students:

  • Explore and explicitly acknowledge the unique nature of the achievement and opportunity to learn gaps in their district/community
  • Actively collaborate with other consortium districts to discover, propose, and implement organizational and instructional strategies that measurably close the gaps
  • Monitor critical district/school disaggregated data, including:
    • student assessments (State and district achievement measures, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, PSAT/SAT performance)
    • grades/GPA
    • student and parent perceptions of their experiences
    • enrollment patterns in advanced placement-international baccalaureate-honors-gifted-math and science courses
    • enrollment patterns in Title 1-remedial programs and/or special education
    • discipline referral rates and consequences
    • extracurricular involvement
    • attendance rates and patterns
    • high school graduation rates
    • college-going rates/attending first college of choice
    • college persistence and success.
    • Change school structures, policies and practices that reinforce and sustain the gaps
    • Develop annual plans to address district goals for closing/eliminating the gaps, including measurable objectives and outcomes
    • Participate in shared leadership and learning experiences, and disseminate promising and effective practices
    • Provide learning opportunities for emerging student leaders of color in middle and high school; and
    • Enhance the recruitment and retention of administrators and teachers of color

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Past Programs







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For more information, contact:

Dr. Robert L. Jarvis, Director 
Leadership for Excellence & Equity Initiatives

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