National statistics show that students not reading at grade level by the
end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school.
Less than half of our students are reading on grade level at the end of 3rd grade.
Ready to Read
Reading is fundamental to learning and success in life, yet less than half of Tulsa-area third graders are reading on grade level at the end of third grade. Kids in poverty face an even more difficult challenge as they are more than one full grade level behind their more affluent peers. ImpactTulsa’s goal is to increase reading proficiency by 10% by 2019 by expanding evidence-based practices and working with partners to ensure new teachers are best prepared to meet the needs of young students in the classroom.
In an effort to boost proficiency rates, our staff is working with the Ready to Read Operations Council on building strategic partnerships to tackle both structural and operational challenges in improving literacy rates regionally. The Ready to Read Operations Council is focused on three major areas:
QUALITY ALIGNED CURRICULUM
The Ready To Read Operations Council has identified a need to work to align curriculum in Colleges of Education to better prepare new teacher candidates for entry into the classroom. Dr. Kim Boyd, Dean of the College of Education at Oral Roberts University, and a team from the Ready to Read Partnership held our first initial meeting in June. Out of that meeting three areas of focus have emerged.
Student teaching placement
Professional development for first year teachers
Mentoring of first year teachers
EXPANSION OF EVIDENCE-BASED READING INTERVENTIONS
As the Ready to Read Partnership reviews data on literacy focused reading interventions we will work to scale promising interventions. One major development is a strong partnership with Reading Partners, (a national evidence based program validated by an extensive MDRC randomized control study). ImpactTulsa and Reading Partners are working with our partner school districts on an aggressive K-2 literacy strategy focused in areas of need and students who will benefit most from the intervention. Volunteer based Reading Partners will be a centerpiece of the strategy to add to classroom based interventions.
INTERVIEW AND EVALUATE BRIGHT SPOT SCHOOLS
The Ready to Read Operations Council has completed a series of “Bright Spot” interviews with our partner schools who are excelling in literacy with higher poverty student populations. We will be sharing an initial findings guide as we move into our next round of interviews this fall to share best practices and spread them to like school populations.