In a move that will direct attention to the urgent challenges of urban education, the University of Rochester's Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development has created an Institute for Urban Schools and Education. The new Institute, which will support and accelerate the changes taking place in urban education today, will have a close working partnership with the Rochester City School District. It will facilitate faculty involvement in research as well as in educational practice. Frederick C. Jefferson, Jr., professor of education at the Warner School, will direct the new Institute.
"Developing the potential of young people is at the heart of the educational mission," said Thomas H. Jackson, president of the University. "Urban schools are struggling to develop that potential under daunting circumstances. I am pleased that the University's Warner School will be working hand in hand with City schools to help them accomplish this difficult goal."
"If we are to do the best possible job preparing our students for success, our schools must welcome and draw upon all the expertise and support available from this community," said Dr. Clifford Janey, superintendent of the Rochester School District. "We have been working with individuals at the Warner School for some time, and have found their research and insight invaluable as we develop the educators and programs we need to give our students a quality education."
"I am very pleased that the Warner School will be extending and enhancing its presence and engagement with professional educators in the region, especially in the city of Rochester, with the establishment of this Institute," said Philip Wexler, dean of the Warner School. "Professor Jefferson is ideally suited to be its founding director. I look forward to working with him and to promoting the work of the Institute in leadership activities, in facilitating the research work of our faculty, and engaging students in a commitment to urban education."
The Institute for Urban Schools and Education will assume some of the outreach efforts formerly handled by the University's Office of University and Community Affairs. The new Institute will be housed in Dewey Hall at the Warner School. Judy Abelman and Geraldine Session from the Office of University and Community Affairs will join the new Institute.
"I see our role as promoting and sustaining the changes needed to improve urban education," said the new director, Prof. Jefferson. "One example would be the highly successful Leaders Institute, which convened for the first time last fall."
The Leaders Institute brought principals from throughout the district together to explore better ways to build teams, enhance collaborative leadership and effective teaching, and develop business partnerships. The Institute has continued to help principals increase their skills at problem solving, tap resources inside and outside schools, and see problems of their own schools in broader contexts.