Tulsa Public Schools Meet With The Oklahoma State Board of Education For Monthly Report

TPS Superintendent Dr. Ebony Johnson shared the launch of the district’s new Oklahoma Teachers Empowerment Program (OTEP) to provide more small-group attention to students.

Thursday, March 28th 2024, 6:30 pm



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Tulsa Public Schools gave its monthly update to the Oklahoma State Board of Education, outlining its efforts to improve the district's test scores and achieve the State Department of Education's goals for the district.

TPS Superintendent Dr. Ebony Johnson shared the launch of the district’s new Oklahoma Teachers Empowerment Program (OTEP) to provide more small-group attention to students.

The program is expected to support more than 1,100 low-scoring students with targeted small-group instruction. The district had 118 teachers apply for the program, but only 45 were accepted.

"Certified OSDE employees will provide coverage in classrooms of OTEP teachers so that the OTEP initiative is possible,” TPS said.

“The goal of this is really simple; it is to get high-quality, targeted instruction to kids who need it to improve reading proficiency this year and really prepare us for OSTP,” said Sean Berkstresser, Tulsa Public Schools ED of Information and Analytics. 

The Oklahoma Teacher Empowerment program is just one of the district's essential initiatives to provide support to its students. 

TPS also mentioned the Oklahoma State Board of Education is going to staff some TPS school sites while the OTEP teachers work in smaller group settings.

Tulsa Public Schools then talked about the recently launched “Attend to Win” campaign by the district to get more students in the classroom.

State Superintendent Walters also announced the creation of the Oklahoma State Department of Education Office of School Choice. 

Walters said this new department will be a one-stop shop for everything related to school choice in Oklahoma. School choice programs allow parents to move their children into the type of schooling they feel meets their child's needs. 

He said OSDE is one of the first in the nation to create this resource for parents.

“What we've seen is continuing to provide more options for parents, meaning that kids and their parents have a better opportunity at success,” said Walters. 

Walters said creating this office will help recognize the Oklahoma State Board of Education and make it easier for parents to find all available resources. 

After Dr Johnson made closing remarks for the district, State Superintendent Ryan Walters commended the team at Tulsa Public Schools on its efforts to improve the district.

“It’s one of the most remarkable things I’ve seen in education for a team this late in the year to turn around an initiative like that. And I said this last time—you’re making me say it again—there are things that are happening in Tulsa that are a model for the entire state of Oklahoma,” Superintendent Walters said. 

"We’re getting affirmation from our State Superintendent and our board that we are going in the right direction," said Dr. Ebony Johnson. "They are acknowledging the hard work and the quick work that we are doing in order to see the change, and so it just brings good energy to the entire team.” 

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