New school programs aim to increase teacher diversity

Posted at 6:55 PM, Apr 03, 2017

Buffalo State and Buffalo Public Schools are developing four-year college level courses to help get more teachers in classrooms. Students who complete the four year Urban Teacher Academy at McKinley High School will be accepted into Buffalo State's Teacher Education programs with credits already under their belt toward a Bachelor's degree.

The program starts Fall 2017. Students must complete the four-year program with the promise of teaching at city schools for five years before being accepted into Buffalo State. Buffalo Public School's Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash says they hope to bring this to other schools in the future.

"I wish I would've had that opportunity in High School where I would've had that opportunity to enter the workforce faster," said Sara Torres, a McKinley High School Spanish teacher, her alma mater. She then went to Buffalo State for college.

Just five minutes down the road, Canisius College and the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education have a similar program in place, trying to improve teaching and learning in urban schools throughout Western New York.

"Teachers who are like the students have much easier time in benefiting the student's learning," said Jeffrey Lindauer, Dean of the School of Education and Human Services. "We're seeing a lot more students of color coming to Canisius and we're seeing that slowly into our student education as well."

"There's clearly a need for more diversity in the workforce," said Nancy Wallace, Professor at Canisius College, and Director of School and Community Partnerships. "We want to attract teacher candidates from all backgrounds, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds to our program."

Both programs trying to help with shortage of teachers in Buffalo and bring the passion of teaching into the live's of students in urban schools.