The Teachers As Leaders initiative was created to address a gross reality within the New York school system. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Black male teachers represent a mere 4.4% of the teacher workforce in New York City. The disproportionate under-representation of Black male teachers in New York City requires strategies that address the intersection of several overlapping impediments which include an alarming high school graduation rate of approximately 37%, inadequate preparation for teaching licenses, as well as the growing social inequities facing Black boys and men that have impeded their participation and advancement in education and employment. Teachers As Leaders is aimed at increasing opportunities for teaching as a career and advancing educational opportunities for the least advantaged in NYC.
The "Teachers as Leaders" Program is focused on recruiting and retaining African American males as teachers in NYC and training them to engage as policy advocates. The initiative is also focused on evaluating the impact of African American male teachers on the educational performance of Black boys. The initiative is aligned with Schott’s Representative Leadership and Race and Gender Equity program agenda.
The initial grant from The Schott Foundation allowed CUNY BMI to:
CUNY BMI is now in its second year and has provided scholarships to 35 continuing participants. As the program continues CUNY BMI plans to award up to 80 scholarships: Up to 40 scholarships will be awarded during the spring 2009 semester. Another 40 will be awarded during the fall 2009 semester. They will also continue program activity that was initiated under the initial grant including: