More Tulsa Public Schools Are Making The Grade

Thursday, August 24th 2006, 5:32 pm
By: News On 6

Higher test scores are paying off for Tulsa Public Schools. The state released the new federal needs improvement list Thursday afternoon and 17 Tulsa schools are coming off.

News on 6 education reporter Ashli Sims says the school district is happy with the news and says this is a substantial improvement.

In 2004, TPS had 37 schools on the federal needs improvement list. In just two years, they've cut that list in half. 15 elementary schools came off the list this year. The list includes Academy Central, Anderson, Celia Clinton, Burroughs, Cherokee, Cooper, Eugene Field, Hawthorne, Lindbergh, MacArthur, McClure, Newcomer, Roosevelt and Sandburg. They were labeled "needs improvement," because they didn't meet state goals two years in a row.

And it took them two years worth of improved test scores and attendance to be removed from the list. There were also two middle schools Cleveland and Edison that showed enough improvement to be removed from the list.

Tulsa Public Schools has been watching this closely, so they say they're not surprised by the gains. They've really pushed programs like Target Teach in schools that struggle. That program regularly tests students, which the district says helps teachers direct instruction and takes the fear factor out of testing for students.

For the first time in several years Tulsa Public Schools hasn't added any schools to the list.

And there was something of a surprise for one of the suburban school districts. For the first time ever, Union Public Schools has a site on the list, the Intermediate High School. Union school officials say only one group of students, their Hispanic students, didn’t make state standards.

Union officials say that's because those who are just learning the language were included with the rest of the Hispanic student population.

This is only a preliminary list, the Union School district can appeal.