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White to help set the PACE for excellence

Lehigh University and the School District of Philadelphia have had a long and productive relationship, one that has most recently resulted in the Institute for the Mentorship of Urban School Leaders.

Now, that partnership is about to be elevated to a new level.

This past October, Lehigh University was invited by the school district to join the Philadelphia Area Consortium for Education (PACE). The consortium is an innovative and bold experiment that allows its membership to collaborate and exchange ideas at multiple levels.

One of the consortium’s inaugural 27 members, Lehigh’s
College of Education will work directly with regional partners at an unprecedented level to discuss and evaluate educational research opportunities. Sally A. White, dean of Lehigh’s College of Education, is one of six members on its board of directors.

PACE represents the first time educational partners have been asked to collaboratively work toward improving the quality of education in Philadelphia. The consortium is now in a unique position to raise funds, establish and assess programs, and invest in cutting-edge research.

“This is a great opportunity for Philadelphia and its educational partners to establish themselves as a model for urban school districts nationwide,” White says. “By focusing on how to consolidate regional support, the school district is uniquely poised to make significant strides in education. It’s an innovative team approach—unfortunately, one that we don’t see too often.”

As the seventh largest school district in the country, Philadelphia has nearly 200,000 students attending 273 public schools. In 2000, it instituted a progressive management structure with a Chief Executive Officer, Paul Vallas, as its lead administrator.

--Tom Yencho

Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006

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