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Report: Tulsa Third-Grade Reading Improves, Concern For Older Students

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

A new report is just out on the state of education in Tulsa, and it's showing progress for third-grade reading students, and some concerns for middle and high schoolers.

Impact Tulsa analyzes the data from schools and all the standardized test.

They reported the newest numbers to districts Thursday evening.

Tulsa-area high schools are graduating more students - 83 percent right now - but most are not prepared for college.    

That's according to high school ACT scores, compiled by Impact Tulsa.

"It's not just a matter of graduating from high school, it's being ready for post-secondary and being ready for a job and these ACT numbers show we're not there yet," said Dr. Kathy Seibold with Impact Tulsa. 

But Seibold said she sees a lot of positive trends as well.

Third graders in Hispanic and low-income families are catching up with their peers on their reading skills.

The challenge now is to figure out what's working so well for those groups and copy the best practices.

"Is it a specific intervention that's happening, where in the city is that happening? Is it a specific school?" Seibold said.

Impact Tulsa has become the data analysis arm for 15 area school districts.

Their work allows schools to see deep into the data for their own school and compare it with other districts.

This year, a big concern they've noticed is middle school math.

They said 39 percent of Tulsa students are not on level.

"Tulsa is lagging the state average on middle school math proficiency and the state is lagging the national average and that's something that the whole community is going to have to rally around," said John Tapogna, ECONorthwest Educational Consultant.

All of the numbers confirm the notion that early education is a critical foundation.

The data shows the problem of not enough college graduates is related to students not doing well in middle school math, and further back, not learning to read well by third grade.

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