Impact Tulsa Takes A Deeper Look At Student Performance
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa group is continuing to study trends in our community in order help provide an effective pathway for students to thrive.
Impact Tulsa believes all students deserve a quality education, and Thursday night they released their findings from the 2017-2018 school year.
This year Impact Tulsa's theme was gathering voices - so they wanted to take a deeper look at the data, while keeping real people at the forefront.
They say this has helped them have conversations about race and socioeconomic status, which they believe will have a big impact moving forward.
"It is a marathon, so it takes some courage and persistence, but it's working," said Chair of the Impact Tulsa Leadership Council Kathy Taylor.
Former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor says Impact Tulsa started tracking data trends for Tulsa County Schools five years ago.
Since 2013, the county has seen a 7.4% increase in population, and they've also seen significant improvement in graduation rates.
"What we knew at the beginning, what we know now is that everyone in the community - it is our joint responsibility to make progress," said Taylor.
Pre-K enrollment in Tulsa County also saw a 7% increase over the past five years; however, their findings showed only 60 percent of students were prepared for Kindergarten.
"We know that early learning is critical in closing opportunity gaps," said Executive Director of Impact Tulsa, Carlisha Williams-Bradley.
Bradley says they started analyzing why the other 40% weren't ready, which has helped them dive deeper into conversations around equality.
“When that data is desegregated, there are still gaps between ethnic groups and socioeconomic statuses that we must address with targeted interventions in our schools,” said Bradley.
The study also showed only 4% of African American economically disadvantaged 11th graders were ready for college math.
They also saw dips in third-grade reading and eighth-grade math scores.
Now they are working to see if external factors could be contributing to these numbers, and how they can fix it moving forward.
“Safety, access to healthcare, transportation, all of those issues impact education inside the school house,” said Taylor.
The Impact Team has 30 representatives and more than 100 nonprofits working together in order to make sure students have all of the resources they need for a quality education.
“With this information we come together to measure what matters, to replicate those best practices and to align resources for students in a meaningful way,” said Bradley.
Impact Tulsa has given all the school districts in Tulsa County a copy of this report so they can use it as a tool if they want to make changes in the future.
Get more information at Impact Tulsa.