Center for Public Research and Leadership: Improvement as a Series of Learning Opportunities

By Kimberly Austin, Ph.D., CPRL Engagement Manager   At the Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University, we have observed a tendency in education, healthcare, and other sectors to view improvement as one of two extremes. On one hand, there is an attraction to each big idea that comes along. We are excited by results in one city or the program that seems to answer all the problems that keep us awake at night. On the other hand, there is an intense feeling of...

Why the Oklahoma Teacher Walkout Matters

by Kathy Seibold, Executive Director of ImpactTulsa   Today.   This very day.   Oklahoma sits at a crossroads.   Will Oklahoma make education funding a priority? The result of this historic teacher walkout will give us that answer.   First, some good steps: The Oklahoma Legislature created positive momentum this session with the teacher raise that was written into law. The Oklahoma State Department of Education took great and powerful measures in the spring of 2017 when it unveiled new standards and assessments linked to college and career readiness.   With these changes, we are now measuring...

Changes to OK State Standards: Learning for the Long Run

by Joy Hofmeister, OK State Superintendent of Public Instruction   By now, most Oklahomans are aware that public schools have received test scores from the spring 2017 Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) assessments – and the results are significantly different than in past years.   In recent weeks, we have been meeting with a host of education stakeholders – including educators, the business community, legislators and nonprofits, members of the media and others -- to provide the context for the test results. Our children, teachers and schools have not changed;...

Pre-K: Tulsa’s Important Role

by Diane M. Horm, Ph.D., and Sherri Castle, M.S., Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI) at OU-Tulsa   Currently, 42 states, including Oklahoma, invest state funds to offer pre-K to 4-year-olds as a strategy to enhance young children’s school readiness and success.  Pre-K enrollments have grown dramatically over the past 20 years from virtually 0% to approximately 32% of the country’s 4-year-olds in 2016.   Oklahoma has been a pioneer and leader in pre-K programing and research.  Oklahoma was one of the first states to offer pre-K programs and is currently one...

Uncovering What Works

by Heidi Black, Senior Manager, Innovation at StriveTogether   What does it take for a community to achieve better results for every child, birth to career?   This is a question that I grapple with every day in my role as Senior Manager, Innovation at StriveTogether. One way that we have helped collective impact partnerships, like ImpactTulsa, answer this question is by launching impact and improvement networks.   Created to provide professional development in the use of continuous improvement, an impact and improvement network helps partners from multiple organizations align their...

I Know A Lot About FAFSA

by Kuma Roberts   If you know a student graduating from high school, you have probably heard about FAFSA.  I know a lot about FAFSA. I know a lot about it because it is my job to help strengthen Tulsa’s education and workforce pipeline.   As a 42 year old program manager for education at a local Chamber of Commerce, I know about it through our initiatives intent on increasing graduation rates, the annual college and career fair we host and our laser focus on ensuring more students...

Empowering the Community

by Mayor GT Bynum   The failure of State Question 779 leaves many across our state asking the question "What is our next option for properlyfunding education in Oklahoma?" And while much of the discussion rightly focuses on the state government, an important potential partner remains on the sidelines. Local communities across the state ought to be empowered to call operational funding initiatives for education in their jurisdiction without being penalized by the state government.   As a mayor, I don't pretend to be an expert on education policy...

Being Thankful: A Teacher’s Perspective

By Stephenie Sivadon Title 1 K-5th Teacher   With the negative climate that is present in the education world today, what do I, as a teacher, have to be thankful for?  College students are not lining up to major in education, our Oklahoma teachers are leaving the state to find better paying positions, our state legislature does not fund or support us, the media regularly portrays us in a negative light.  What do I have to be thankful for as a teacher?   I am blessed to work with children...

New Opportunity – Impact and Improvement Networks Launching in February 2017!

On behalf of the Tulsa Strategy and ImpactTulsa, thank you for participating in the recent Results Based Leadership (RBL) Invitational. Moving forward, we are committed to helping organizations build capacity to dramatically improve outcomes for every child in our community, from birth to career.   Building on lessons learned from across the country with the goal of supporting and accelerating progress, we are launching Impact and Improvement Networks that focus on our collective community level outcomes. Over the course of 15 months, the Impact and Improvement Networks...

Educating the Whole Child

By: Kathy Seibold, Ed.D. ImpactTulsa Executive Director   If I were to poll parents and teachers, I am sure most would say it is equally important for kids to be prepared for life both academically and socially—that developing kind and caring citizens is a critical part of the educational process. But, when Harvard put this question to youth in a national survey, the results show a surprising gap in their perceptions of adult attitudes. In the survey “about 80 percent of the kids reported that they believed their parents...