The candidates -- interim superintendent Amber Dixon and Dr. Edward Newsome of Baltimore County, Maryland -- answered questions from the media in separate sessions.
A third candidate -- Dr. Pamela Brown from Marlborough, Mass. -- is dealing with a family emergency and will visit Buffalo in the coming days.
Reporters asked the candidates why they're pursuing this position.
"I want to this because it's work that needs to be done," says Dixon.
She adds that education is the future of the community, the city, and its children. "You can't throw away a generation, and we certainly can't throw away a generation in Buffalo, New York," Dixon says.
In his response, Newsome says the Buffalo district's characteristics align well with this skill sets.
"Our work was to make sure that schools have strategies that were in their school improvement plans; that were targeted so that students would graduate from high school being college and work force prepared," he says.
When asked what they believe is the biggest issue facing the Buffalo schools, both Dixon and Newsome said "student achievement."
Newsome says raising graduation rates will take a team effort. "There needs to be a collaborative strategy whereby central office, school staff, parents, and other community dynamics work together," he says.
Dixon says educating Buffalo's school children is up to the schools, their parents, peers, and community members.
"Making sure that we as a community expect our children to be in school during the day and expect that they're going to succeed at the end of their school years," Dixon says.