Buffalo – Just hours after historic legislation is passed regarding the UB 2020 initiative in the State, NYS Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes announces her plan for “Grads UP 2020”. The initiative comes at a time where celebration for the passing of the UB/SUNY 2020 plan meets the need for focus and execution of methods to increase graduation rates among Buffalo high school students. Peoples-Stokes, a long-time supporter and author of the initial UB2020 legislation states “The combination of the UB2020 movement and goal of 100% graduation rate among Buffalo high school students will regenerate the economic future of the Buffalo-Niagara region. By placing a premium on academic excellence, our children will be equipped with the necessary tools to move forward successfully to the colleges and careers of their choice.”
The goal of 100% graduation rate among our Buffalo high school students by the year 2020 is not insurmountable. The graduation rate improved in 2010 to 52% compared to 49% in 2009, but those statistics do not fare well with many across the state, who say our students are falling behind their peers across the country. Improved parent engagement, longer school days and school years, extra periods of English and math for struggling students are directives in place to contribute to overall academic improvement and success with our students. However, we must be committed to this goal for the sake of our students, our city and our state.
"Now that the UB2020 framework has been set in motion we must step up and meet this opportunity by focusing on our Buffalo High School Students and working to dramatically improve the graduation rates by 2020. The expansion of UB and the fulfillment of its purpose will not be complete without more of our students being prepared to succeed on its campus. We must work together and facilitate the structural and community changes needed to improve the quality of education in our high schools and equip our students to attend and take part in the UB2020 vision. I look forward to working with parents, community groups and our local elected leaders to help facilitate positive discussions so we can make 100% graduation rates in our Buffalo High Schools a goal we can achieve," stated Peoples-Stokes.