Tulsa Public Schools Delays Plan To Reform McLain High School - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Public Schools Delays Plan To Reform McLain High School

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The district wants to bring in outside help from Harvard to improve education for the 3,200 students who feed into McLain. The district wants to bring in outside help from Harvard to improve education for the 3,200 students who feed into McLain.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public Schools has delayed its timeline for reform at McLain High School.

The district wants to bring in outside help from Harvard to improve education for the 3,200 students who feed into McLain.

If approved, it would have happened in the fall, but the district has slowed its approach. Superintendent Keith Ballard says he's still considering longer school days and outside tutors in the McLain feeder system, but he wants to phase it in.

Lynn Stockley with the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association says the delay is a relief.

"This will be a step back, take-a-look at it year, and lets see what happens," Stockley said.

Full implementation of any changes wouldn't happen until the 2014-2015 year. TPS plans to create a 7th Grade Academy for McLain-bound students.

It also wants to partner with EdLabs, a Harvard education research firm. EdLabs would work at eight TPS sites and focuses on a longer school day and tutoring for individual students.

3/11/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Proposes Solutions To Overcrowding And Behavior Problems

Teachers immediately had concerns.

"Anybody just sort of coming in and suggesting that they have the answers for a school--and not that, that was ever what they were proposing, but when you ask the teachers, 'What do you think is needed in your building?' that's what we want to hear," Stockley said.

Ballard is now recommending a planning year before full implementation of the EdLabs system.

"A planning year, as we look at the work that EdLabs has done and we look at the work that we're doing and we ensure that we continue to follow the very basics that we have been following," Ballard said.

Despite concerns, the TCTA says reform is needed at McLain.

"When we're dealing with people and kids and families, there really are no magic answers," Stockley said. "At the same time, do we need to make changes? Yes, we do need to make changes."

The district hopes to hire an additional assistant principal at the eight sites to administer teacher evaluations. EdLabs would advise TPS in the hiring process the first year.

Ballard says he will come back next week and outline his new recommendation on EdLabs. The board could vote on it then.

TPS believes it can cover the cost of the EdLabs partnership with donor dollars.

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