GKFF works closely with Tulsa 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). 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 members. TLE also uses student performance data to inform teaching strategies and personalize professional development. This innovative initiative has served as a statewide model.
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.
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 that serves 28 schools and more than 1600 students 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, Tulsa Honor Academy, College Bound, Collegiate Hall and Greenwood Leadership Academy 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.