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Tulsa Public Schools exploring partnership with Harvard to improve schools
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Tulsa Public Schools exploring partnership with Harvard to improve schools

Tulsa Public Schools exploring partnership with Harvard to improve schools
Photo Credit: Staff

Tulsa Public Schools exploring partnership with Harvard to improve schools

Tulsa Public Schools has scheduled a public forum for parents and community members in the McLain High School feeder pattern, as well as those with students attending Burroughs Elementary, to learn about a partnership the district is considering with Harvard University’s EdLabs. 

"There is no magic potion to fix student achievement, however, there are some tried and true ingredients that are consistently found in successful schools," said Dr. Keith Ballard, TPS superintendent. "Tulsa Public Schools and EdLabs share many of the same philosophies, including having an effective teacher in every classroom, and an effective leader in every building.  We encourage parents and members of the McLain and Burroughs Elementary communities to attend this important meeting as we explore the possibilities with Dr. Roland Fryer and EdLabs."

The forum is slated for Monday, March 18, from 6 - 7 p.m. at the McLain High School Auditorium.

The proposed three-year partnership still needs to be approved by the TPS board. It also requires district and philanthropic funding.

The program seeks to accelerate student growth in schools with chronic low achievement.

Eight schools are included, seven of which are in the McLain feeder pattern: Anderson, Gilcrease, Penn, Springdale and Whitman elementary schools; Burroughs Elementary (in the Central High School feeder pattern); as well as McLain Junior High and McLain High School.  

Based upon data analysis about what has produced results in high-performing schools, EdLabs applies: 1) a high frequency of classroom walkthroughs, observations and feedback by instructional leaders; 2) high-dosage, individualized tutoring, both during the regular school day and after school; 3) the potential for an extended school day (and possibly the school year) to maximize instructional time; 4) frequent student assessment and retraining until students master the skills necessary to be successful; and 5) creating a culture of high expectations. 

The partnership will require a significant additional investment estimated at $2,000 per child per year.  The recommendation will be formally presented to the TPS board at the March 25 board meeting, and is expected to be voted upon at the April 8 meeting.

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