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Education Expert to Speak at Inaugural 'Year of the Teacher' Event

Posted: September 5, 2013

SUNY Buffalo State will present internationally renowned education expert Pedro Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University (NYU), as the keynote speaker for its inaugural Year of the Teacher event. Noguera’s presentation, “Education and Social Transformation: Creating Schools That Can Meet the Needs of a Changing Society,” kicks off the college’s yearlong celebration of the teaching profession. The speech will take place at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 17, in the Burchfield Penney Art Center auditorium. The public is welcome to attend.

Noguera, a sociologist whose scholarship and research focus on the way schools are influenced by social and economic conditions as well as by demographic trends, has nine books to his credit.

Noguera’s most recent book, Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap, was coauthored with A. Wade Boykin. His other books include City Schools and the American Dream; Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools; and The Trouble With Black Boys… and Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education.

“Scholars who study education in the United States are very familiar with his work,” said Kathy L. Wood, associate dean of the School of Education. “He is also a terrific public speaker who can make his work understandable and engage his audience.” Noguera will give several additional presentations to invited faculty and community members during the day.

At 5:00 p.m., Noguera will present “Building the Capacity of Schools to Meet Student Needs” at Westminster Community Charter School, a Buffalo Promise Neighborhood School, located at 24 Westminster Avenue. The public is encouraged to attend.

“We hope that all members of the Western New York community will join us in exploring the many social, ethical, and practical influences on education that are not always obvious,” said Wendy Paterson, dean of the School of Education and a former literacy teacher. “Engaging many constituencies in meaningful dialogue about teaching is one of the Year of the Teacher theme. That’s why we scheduled Dr. Noguera’s public presentation at a time that allows working people, including educators, to attend.”

In his presentations, Noguera will discuss the idea that the movement to raise academic standards and increase accountability has largely succeeded in bringing greater attention to the need to raise student achievement. However, he will also note that surprisingly little attention has been given to what it takes to create conditions in schools that improve the quality of teaching and learning. Missing from much of the policy debate related to achievement is how to build the capacity of schools to meet the needs of the students they serve. Noguera’s presentation will focus on strategies to do so.

Noguera will highlight successful strategies that are already in place at a small number of schools in the United States. He will also provide concrete strategies for schools to develop effective partnerships with community organizations and parents that can help efforts to raise achievement and transform the culture and structure of schools.

In addition to his position with NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Noguera serves as the executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and as co-director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings. He has served on the SUNY Board of Trustees.

Noguera is a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets. He has received numerous awards, including several honorary doctorates; the 2001 Centennial Medal from Philadelphia University; the 2003 Forward Magazine Gold Award and the 2003 AESA Critics Choice Book Award, both for City Schools and the American Dream; the 2005 Whitney Young Award for Leadership in Education;  the 2006 Eugene Carrothers Award for Public Service; the 2008 Schott Foundation Award for Research on Race and Gender; the 2008 AESA Critics Choice Book Award for The Trouble With Black Boys; and the 2009 Scholastic Corporation Education Hero Award.

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