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 Update on Meeting between Chief Learning Officer Dr. Ebony Johnson and Oklahoma State Superintendent

On Friday, August 25, Tulsa Public Schools’ incoming Interim Superintendent and Chief Learning Officer Dr. Ebony Johnson met with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters. The meeting occurred at Superintendent Walters’ request and was held at 1 PM at the Tulsa Public Schools Education Service Center (3027 S New Haven).

During the approximately one-hour meeting, Superintendent Walters and Interim Superintendent Johnson discussed the following topics:

  1. Finances of Tulsa Public Schools, including encumbrance reports

  2. Schools on the “F” list and the need to improve reading proficiency rates at the lowest performing schools

  3. Measuring growth and tools of measurement 

  4. Challenges of significantly increasing literacy proficiency rates in under a year

  5. Various strategies to support acceleration of student literacy learning and current implementation of reading instruction in TPS schools

  6. Opportunities for educator training and micro-credentialing, underwritten by the  Oklahoma State Department of Education

  7. Regular check-ins over the next few weeks in response to the state board’s accreditation vote which requires Tulsa Public Schools to report on: 1)  the district’s professional development plan for the science of reading, 2) a corrective action plan for schools with a letter grade of “F” on the state’s accountability system, and 3) the development and publication of new internal controls, including provisions to specifically detect and prevent embezzlement 

The meeting included the following agreements:

  1. Agreement that progress in literacy can be measured by both increasing the number of students who are “proficient” and moving learners from the “below basic” to “basic” levels and from “basic” to “proficient” levels on the Oklahoma State Testing Program

  2. Agreement to reconvene in approximately two weeks to share updates on the development of the reporting plan to satisfy the state board of education’s stipulations from their August 24 vote concerning Tulsa Public Schools accreditation

  3. Agreement that at the state board meeting on September 28, Tulsa Public Schools will present on:

    1. Professional development plan for how Tulsa Public Schools is training its educators on the science of reading

    2. Development of a corrective action plan for schools with a letter grade of “F” on the most recently issued state board of education report cards

    3. Development of new internal financial controls, including provisions to specifically prevent and detect embezzlement