Operationalizing our commitment began in 2018. Promising progress has already been made. Below are examples of our actions that move our plan forward.
The Buffalo Aspiring Leaders Academy is a cooperative effort between UB's Graduate School of Education, Buffalo City Schools, the New York City Leadership Academy and the New York State Education Department. BALA prepares Buffalo City School District teachers for leadership roles in Buffalo schools. Buffalo has 60 schools serving 33,415 students. The program offers a full-year residency in one of Buffalo’s Community Schools and a curriculum tailored to the unique needs of the district. During the first year, ten teachers successfully completed the program and the majority have been offered positions as assistant principals.
The Teacher Residency Program aims to collaboratively prepare and sustain skilled, diverse teachers to effectively serve the varied needs of historically marginalized students, families and school communities. Our one-year, paid residency program is designed for those interested in pursuing initial and/or initial/professional certification in childhood, early childhood, English for speakers of other languages, or adolescence education.
In spring 2019, the Graduate School of Education (GSE) initiated a collaborative academic strategic planning process. Beginning with a reconsideration of GSE’s mission and vision, the faculty and staff of GSE considered its purposes and commitments. With a redefined mission and vision, we were then able to define strategic priorities and goals for GSE through focus groups. These collaboartive and intensive efforts resulted in our strategic plan: Realizing Our Collective Promise. This collective promise reflects our obligations to excellence, impact and inclusivity in all that we do. We make this promise to each other, our students, and the individuals and communities most impacted by our work.
To make good on our mission, vision, and commitment to equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion, GSE canceled classes and closed offices dedicating two days to teach and learn about racial equity. Key to understanding the systematic violence against Black people, is understanding the role that education has played and continues to play in perpetuating these systems of oppression. Change is both an individual and collective responsibility. As an institution of higher education, we continue this work through the radical act of teaching and learning.