A conversation on critical education issues took center stage Friday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) is holding its annual convention. The three-day conference kicked off Thursday and draws about 2000 educators to the region.
NYSSBA hosted The Education Leaders Round Table: The Equity Discussion featured a diverse panel including New York State Regents Chancellor Dr. Betty Rosa.
The panel also included Buffalo School Board President Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold, Karl Kirstoff, Attorney with Hodgson Russ, Michael Wendt, Superintendent, Wilson Central School District, David Rust, Executive Director of Say Yes Buffalo, Dr. Shaun Nelms, Superintendent, Educational Partnership Organization, University of Rochester, Yolanda McBride, Director of Public Policy at The Children’s Aid Society and student Derek Morton, Jr., Buffalo Center for Arts & Technology served as panelist.
The panel held an in-depth and lively discussion on what is educational equity?
Chancellor Rosa noted that equity and social justice is the 'issue of our time'. Rosa pointed out that structural and social barriers prevent equity for students, but more importantly the way resources are allocated.
"But the truth of the matter is, some students require more support and to get where they need to get to be success,” Rosa said. “When we get into this discussion of standardization of equity it is a problem because we know to educate certain children takes a lot more resources and we need to create more opportunities.”
City School Board President Seals Nevergold stressed the importance of the conversation around education equity.
"We need to also think about incorporating the voice of the children, because they are creative, because they're intelligent, they're insightful and they can help us to understand where we need to address our thinking in order to address with problem,” stated Seals Nevergold.
This is the first time in five years the city of Buffalo is hosting the NYSSBA conference. The event runs through Saturday featuring school board members, superintendents and educators from across the state gathering to discuss education issues and share experiences and ideas.