Posted Friday, February 28, 2014
Wow, I can't believe it's almost March already. Things have certainly been busy since I last wrote to you. First, I have some exciting news. Our wonderful Director of Athletics Gil Cloud was inducted into the Northeastern State University Athletics Hall of Fame earlier this month. Gil has been at TPS since spring of 2012. He was director of athletics for NSU from 1994-2000 and his experience also includes Union Public Schools and Guthrie Public Schools, as well as Upper Iowa and Arkansas Tech universities. This is a tremendous honor for Gil and I hope everyone will join me in congratulating him.
Just this week, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence announced the 2014 Academic All-State Scholars. I'm proud to say Tulsa Public Schools has six students on the list:
Congratulations to our All-State Scholars!
Now on to business. I want to update you about the education funding rally on March 31st. The Board of Education authorized me to close schools that day so employees, students, parents and patrons of Tulsa Public Schools may attend the rally. The instructional day was made up on Feb. 14th. Here is some advice I received from our attorneys regarding participation in the rally:
I have had some questions regarding the hiring of the New Teacher Project (TNTP) to help recruit and staff teachers. TNTP is the leading recruiting and staffing organization in the education sector. The organization is particularly adept at working with districts similar to Tulsa Public Schools that are facing various external constraints, like compensation and shortage in funding. We've discussed recruitment issues with other districts across the state and they all say they are facing similar problems. We have already been working with TNTP in other areas so they are familiar with TPS and Tulsa. They are helping us in three key areas:
We are looking forward to learning with TNTP and benefiting from their proven track record in recruitment and the selection of teachers. The fee for using this resource is being paid by donor funds.
Dr. Keith Ballard