OUR APPROACH

GKFF believes that a strong educational foundation is critical to a child’s long-term success. Through strategic investments in public education, including high-quality charter schools, GKFF ensures that the investment made in a child’s early education translates to long-term educational success through high school.

In the Tulsa region, only 44% of low-income students are ready for school compared to 80% of their more affluent peers.

High school graduation rates across the Tulsa region can range from 44% to 99%, indicating substantial opportunity for improvement of those schools.

PURPOSE

GKFF believes that every child can realize America’s promise of equal opportunity given the right start. The Foundation seeks to support opportunities that empower young children and have a profound impact on their educational development and well-being.

PROJECTS

GKFF works closely with Tulsa and Union Public Schools and high-quality charter schools to help ensure that gains made in the early years continue throughout a child’s educational journey.

Quality Public Schools

GKFF has been an active partner with Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) and Union Public Schools. The Foundation has served as an advocate for TPS’s efforts to transform the way teachers and leaders are trained, evaluated and supported. In 2009, TPS launched its Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness Initiative (TLE) after months of research and collaboration between district administrators, principals, teachers, Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association leadership and the broader community. TLE deployed a thorough and objective five-tier evaluation process to measure the effectiveness of all professional staff. TLE also uses student performance data to inform teaching strategies and personalize professional development. This innovative initiative has served as a statewide model.

Effective Educators

Teach for America (TFA) and City Year are key human capital strategies that the Foundation has supported in Tulsa. With a clear focus on eliminating education inequity through enlistment of the nation’s future leaders, both programs serve in high-needs schools across the country. These organizations recruit top recent college graduates who demonstrate the potential to be successful teachers and places them in urban and rural schools across the nation. Through intensive training and professional development, both organizations’ corps members are equipped to lead students to achieve academic gains.

Early Literacy

GKFF has worked closely to ensure all young children have an ability to read on grade level. Through a partnership with Reading Partners, an evidence-based, one-on-one tutoring model to serve 27 schools and nearly 1,500 kids annually in the early elementary years. Reading Partners seeks to increase student proficiency in Tulsa by 10 percentage points by 2019.

High-Quality Charter Schools

Tulsa Public Schools has adopted a collaborative approach to integrating charter schools into TPS. Charter schools provide an alternative to traditional district schools through careful site-based hiring, extended hours and a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum. Today, KIPP Tulsa, Tulsa Legacy Charter School and three Building Excellent Schools are examples of high-quality charter models operating within the community. Each of these schools focuses on academic excellence within a nurturing community, with adults who hold children to high expectations.

PreK-12 EDUCATION FEATURES