Education

in the City of Tulsa

Education serves as the gateway to equality and a more inclusive society. Educating students and nurturing their curiosity for lifelong learning and achievement is a central function of public schools. Tulsa’s wide array of public school offerings is reflective of its diverse societal fabric. However, not every student has access to the same level of educational opportunity. Many factors, both inside and outside of the school system, impact how students experience their formal education.

The Education theme explores inequalities by race, income, language, and geography.

The topics in the Education theme are Impediment to Learning, Quality and Opportunity, and Student Achievement.

You can see a snapshot of the indicators averaged in this theme in the chart to your right and then visit the sections below for more detail.

Read our recent blogs about Education…

Impediment to Learning

The indicators in the Impediment to Learning topic are:
  • Race & Suspensions
  • Race & Student Mobility
  • Income & Dropouts
Impediments to Learning are instances that remove students from the classroom. Irregular classroom time can have an effect on both immediate and long-term student success. Racial disparities exist in both suspensions and student mobility. Student mobility refers to any time a student changes schools that is not related to a grade promotion, so it can be either voluntary (e.g., a move) or involuntary (e.g., expulsion from another school). In either case, there are direct effects on the student who leaves as well as disruptions to the rest of the students in the class.

Look at the chart to your right for an overall picture of this topic, and then look at each indicator and the scores in context for more detail and additional findings.

Indicators within Impediment to Learning

  • Race & Suspensions

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the rate of suspension per 100 students in primarily Black (50% or more) elementary schools to primarily White (50% or more) elementary schools

    What are the Results?
    Black 18.2; White 2.6

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    7

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    12

    What Did We Find?
    Missing days of school is detrimental to a student’s academic success. Elementary schools in the Tulsa Public Schools district with a primarily Black student population suspend students at a rate seven times (18.2) that of schools that are primarily White (2.6). Schools that are primarily Hispanic / Latino have twice the rate of suspensions (6.0) as primarily White schools.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    Office of Educational Quality and Accountability [Oklahoma], School Profiles, SY 2015/2016

  • Race & Student Mobility

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the mobility rates in primarily Black elementary schools (50% or more) to primarily White elementary schools (50% or more)

    What are the Results?
    Black 51.0%; White 9.0%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    5.667

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    18

    What Did We Find?
    Student mobility is when a student changes schools during a school year. Student mobility can be voluntary (for example, moving) or involuntary (for example, following expulsion from another school). Changing schools, especially when it occurs frequently, can have a negative effect on students’ academic achievement. In the Tulsa Public Schools district, primarily Black elementary schools have over a five and a half times higher student mobility rate (51.0%) than primarily White elementary schools (9.0%). Primarily Hispanic / Latino elementary schools have about a two and a half times higher mobility rate (24.0%) than White schools.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    Office of Educational Quality and Accountability [Oklahoma], School Profiles, SY 2015/2016

  • Income & Dropouts

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the dropout rates in primarily lower income schools (high schools with over 90% free and reduced lunch) to primarily higher income schools (high schools with less than 60% free and reduced lunch)

    What are the Results?
    Lower income 24.5%; Higher income 4.8%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    5.104

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    20

    What Did We Find?
    There is a huge disparity between income levels regarding dropout rates. Schools with primarily lower income students have a five times higher dropout rate (24.5%) than schools with primarily higher income (4.8%).

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    Office of Educational Quality and Accountability [Oklahoma], School Profiles, SY 2015/2016

Quality and Opportunity

The indicators in the Quality and Opportunity topic are:
  • Geography & Emergency Teacher Certification
  • Race & Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
  • Income & School A-F Report Card Score
Many policies are in place to measure educational Quality and Opportunity, locally and nationally. Students are often tested on an individual basis. Likewise, aggregate measures of schools, teachers and/or students are measured to evaluate the overall performance of our education system. A school’s quality can also be evaluated according to the resources and opportunities it provides its students. Ongoing state budget issues are greatly impacting our public schools. For instance, Oklahoma schools are experiencing a shortage of experienced and degreed teachers due to relatively low pay, which has presumably increased the number of emergency teacher certifications. High school students who have access to AP courses have the opportunity to earn college credits before starting college. This benefits students both academically and financially.

Look at the chart to your right for an overall picture of this topic, and then look at each indicator and the scores in context for more detail and additional findings.

Indicators within Quality and Opportunity

  • Geography & Emergency Teacher Certification

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the number of emergency teacher certifications per 1,000 teachers in Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) district and Tulsa County school districts (excluding TPS)

    What are the Results?
    Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) 48.0; Tulsa County 9.1

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    5.275

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    19

    What Did We Find?
    Emergency teacher certifications are granted to individuals who are not traditionally trained to be educators. They are granted emergency teaching certifications in order to get in the classroom as soon as possible. The teacher training process begins after being hired. Oklahoma schools are facing major shortages in educators and are relying more heavily on hiring individuals with no traditional teaching experience. In the TPS district, 48.0 out of 1,000 teachers have emergency teaching certifications, whereas the combined rate for the other schools in the county (including: Sand Springs, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Collinsville, Sperry, Union, Owasso, Glenpool, Liberty, Berryhill, Bixby, Skiatook, and Keystone) is a much lower 9.1 out of 1,000.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    Oklahoma State Department of Education, SY 2016/2017

  • Race & Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered per 1,000 students in primarily White high schools (35% or more students are White and at least 10% more than any other race) to primarily Hispanic / Latino high schools (35% or more Hispanic / Latino students and at least 10% more than any other race)

    What are the Results?
    White 22.2; Hispanic / Latino 8.6

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    2.571

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    37

    What Did We Find?
    AP courses have a number of benefits for high school students. Not only do AP courses provide students with a chance to learn how to prepare for college level classes, they can also count toward college credit in the future. This can be both time and cost-saving for students once they enter college. Primarily White schools offer two and half times more AP classes per 1,000 students (22.2) than primarily Hispanic / Latino schools (8.6). Primarily Black schools offer 10.8 AP classes per 1,000 students.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    Tulsa Public Schools, School Profiles, SY 2015/2016

  • Income & School A-F Report Card Score

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the A-F report card scores for higher income schools (less than 60% free and reduced lunch) to lower income high schools (over 90% free and reduced lunch)

    What are the Results?
    Higher income 91; Lower income 61 (based on a 1-100 score)

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.497

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    61

    What Did We Find?
    The A-F School Grading system is a tool meant to hold schools accountable for student achievement. In Tulsa, higher income schools score one and a half times higher (91) than lower income scores (61) on the A-F School Grading system. Scores on the A-F school report cards are: A (90-100), B (80-89), C (70-79), D (60-69), and F (below 60).

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    Office of Educational Quality and Accountability [Oklahoma], School Profiles, SY 2015/2016

Student Achievement

The indicators in the Student Achievement topic are:
  • Income & Elementary School Reading Proficiency
  • English Language Learners & Graduation Rates
  • Race & College Completion
Student Achievement can be measured at many levels. Reading proficiency in elementary school, high school graduation rates and college completion are instances of achievement at three levels of the education system. Look at the chart to your right for an overall picture of this topic, and then look at each indicator and the scores in context for more detail and additional findings.

Indicators within Student Achievement

  • Income & Elementary School Reading Proficiency

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of not economically disadvantaged to economically disadvantaged Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) students’ elementary school reading and language arts proficiency

    What are the Results?
    Not economically disadvantaged 79.0%; Economically disadvantaged 46.0%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.717

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    52

    What Did We Find?
    Reading proficiency is critical to not only a student’s academic performance overall, but also their economic opportunities later in life. There is a large disparity in reading proficiency for students who experience economic hardships. For TPS students, only 46% of students who are economically disadvantaged are proficient or advanced in reading and language arts, compared to 79% of students who are not economically disadvantaged.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    Oklahoma State Department of Education, SY 2016/2017

  • English Language Learners & Graduation Rates

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of four-year cohort graduation rates for all students in Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) to English language learners (ELL)

    What are the Results?
    All students 68%; ELL 48%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.417

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    65

    What Did We Find?
    Many students in Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) speak a language other than English at home. English language learners graduate with their class at a much lower rate (48%) than their peers (68%). Asian students have the highest four-year graduation rate (83%) followed by White students (72%). Black (67%) and Hispanic / Latino (65%) students graduate at nearly the same rate as the overall student population, while Native American students graduate at a somewhat lower rate (60%).

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    Oklahoma State Department of Education, SY 2016/2017

    Note:
    The English language learners (ELL) grouping was provided as a demographic subgroup in the data source. There was not a field for Non-ELL students at TPS in the data source.

  • Race & College Completion

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the percentages of Blacks to Asians age 25 and older who started college, but did not graduate with a degree

    What are the Results?
    Black 28.6%; Asian 9.1%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    3.143

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    33

    What Did We Find?
    Black adults age 25 and older are over three times more likely (28.6%) than Asians (9.1%) to have started college, but not graduate with a degree. Whites (24.2%) are the second most likely to start college without completing, followed by Native Americans (21.3%), and Hispanic / Latinos (13.0%). Asians are the most likely to have a college degree (51.0%), followed by Whites (46.9%), Native Americans (30.8%), Blacks (25.7%), and Hispanic / Latinos (11.7%).

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2016 1-Year Estimates