Oklahoma is a national leader in pre-kindergarten education. But, it appears we are losing our edge when those same kids get into elementary school. Oklahoma law requires third graders to read at grade level before advancing to the fourth grade. Tracy Bales is the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning for the Tulsa Public Schools.
TRACY BALES: “If we continue on the path that we are on in Tulsa, approximately 23% of our third graders would be retained.”
She tells the OETA those stats are simply not acceptable.
What is causing the decline? Steven Dow heads up the Community Action Project in Tulsa, which oversees many of the pre-k programs.
STEVEN DOW: “We don’t yet really know what and how, high quality scaled early childhood experiences are going to interact with what is going on in traditional elementary schools, much less longer term after that.”
He tells the OETA he would like to see such research.