Now is the Time to Invest in Oklahoma’s Children and Our Future

By David L. Boren   It seems like every day I open the newspaper there is another shocking headline about our public schools. Headlines like:   “Tulsa Public Schools offers buyouts for administrators” “Oklahoma City Public Schools cuts more than 200 teaching positions” “Districts across the state scale back to a four day school week” “Art, PE, Drama, AP and gifted programs on the chopping block” “Teachers agree to salary cut to save schools money”   Each headline a consequence of budget cuts to education that now have our schools operating in a real crisis.   Enough...

Ray Owens: ImpactTulsa movement working to close achievement gap

By RAY OWENS Pastor, Metropolitan Baptist Church as published in the Tulsa World February 28, 2016   High-quality education is essential to sustaining vital cities. In order to grow a well-trained workforce prepared to staff our corporations, grow small businesses and manage our public sector, we must make significant investments in education.   In this regard, Tulsa offers some notable assets. One of those strengths is the excellent work that established our city as a model for early childhood education. Many of our smallest learners are getting a tremendous start...

In Oklahoma, Anyone Can Afford to Go to College

Howard G. Barnett, Jr. President, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa   One of the real strengths of Oklahoma’s public higher education system is its accessibility, not only from an admissions standpoint but, maybe more importantly, from a cost standpoint.  Add to those benefits the wide variety of college and university offerings and there really is no reason any high school graduate who wants to go to college can’t find a place that works for him or her.   Let’s look at the many choices available in Oklahoma.  Our community college system operates...

From the CEO

One of the great joys of my career has been to help improve education including serving as CEO of ImpactTulsa. Since our launch, we have built an unprecedented partnership that has directly touched the lives of thousands of children across our community. We have moved quickly to focus efforts on improving outcomes for students, and have done so hand-in-hand with fifteen school districts.   As we enter our third year, our partnership is poised to continue this momentum with data driven initiatives to increase the number of...

What To Expect In 2016

As many people do in the new year, ImpactTulsa is taking inventory of our accomplishments and assessing progress toward our goals. As a collective impact partnership, we ended 2015 proving there is a unified mission to guarantee every child a high-quality education. It was incredibly energizing to stand before a packed room of our city’s leaders from all facets – education, business, faith, philanthropic, non-profit and municipal – to talk about the data analyzed in our 2015 Community Impact Report.   As we look forw ard to 2016, this...

Bright Futures Begin with Bright Spots, Bright Spots Begin with Bright Leaders

Autumn Worten Director, Partner Engagement   “Better than a thousand years of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” – Japanese Proverb   This quote is not only reflective of what we all feel about our favorite teachers – it’s also reflective about what the data says about early literacy in our region.   As part of the work of the Ready to Read Partnership, a small team conducted structured interviews at schools data suggested were Bright Spots. These were schools that had higher numbers of economically disadvantaged students and...

Everyone’s Job

[caption id="attachment_50914" align="alignright" width="203"] Jonah Edelman, CEO , Stand for Children and Kathy Taylor, CEO, ImpactTulsa[/caption] Jonah Edelman Co-founder and CEO, Stand for Children   Most people have a vague idea of what "school-to-prison pipeline" means: that due to inadequate educational quality and disproportionately harsh discipline of students of color, certain schools in certain neighborhoods provide a steady stream of young men and women to state penitentiaries. A recent report from the Tulsa Area Community Intervention Center shows that in the Tulsa area children as young as nine-years-old are...

With its second Community Impact Report release scheduled for November 4th, ImpactTulsa’s CEO responds to A-F Report

ImpactTulsa, a community partnership impacting over 170,000 students, will issue its second community report November 4 highlighting the opportunities and bright spots in Tulsa area education. ImpactTulsa and its over 200 partners use data to shine a flashlight on best education practices and help align resources to scale what is working in our community.   “I share Dr. Gist and Superintendent Hofmeister’s concern with the A-F system. The system does not educate communities how to increase student success outcomes. It simply serves as an inaccurate snapshot that...

ImpactTulsa to attend national conference to accept Mission: Possible

ImpactTulsa has accepted a mission that may seem impossible, but it doesn’t involve Tom Cruise or secret agents. Instead, ImpactTulsa, based in Tulsa, will be joining more than 350 community leaders from across the country in a mission to improve education for every child. And they’re all meeting in Minneapolis, Minn., for the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network Convening, “Mission Possible: Agents of Transformational Change.” The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network brings together cross-sector leaders who are committed to improving education outcomes for kids. Representing more than 60 community...

Union Public Schools launches pilot program to help students become teachers

Oklahoma currently is facing a dramatic and severe teacher shortage. And, Union Public Schools decided enough was enough.   This year, Union Public Schools launched a pilot program, Teach Oklahoma, to help recruit and develop its own teachers, aiming the program at students considering a career in education. The program is aligned with the Teach Oklahoma programs offered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and Union officials reached out to Oral Roberts University to create a partnership with its education professors.   “Oklahoma, like other states, is...