Tulsa Public Schools

Redesigning Professional Learning Across a System

Tulsa Public Schools partnered with Leading Educators 2017 to 2023 to build a robust professional learning system that is designed to support ongoing, system-wide improvements in ELA, math, and ECE instruction.

In 2022, we conducted a comprehensive, mixed-methods evaluation of the first four years that revealed significant achievement gap closure and increased retention of novice teachers despite the effects of the global pandemic. During the 2022-2023 school year, Leading Educators worked with district leaders to offboard key responsibilities and build the capacity of internal leaders to sustain continuous improvement and professional learning design into the future. 

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About the Partnership

Partnership Goals

In 2017 Leading Educators (LE) and Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) embarked on a five-year partnership aimed at building a robust professional learning system that would support ongoing, system-wide improvements in ELA and Math instruction. The goals of the partnership were to:

  • Set a vision of success for curricular implementation and aligned professional learning
  • Design a system of professional learning around the Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) and Eureka curricula
  • Train and support teacher leaders to lead their colleagues in that learning system
  • Work with principals to establish the necessary conditions for effective professional learning within their schools
  • Build capacity in district staff to take over the design and implementation of the professional learning system

Through the approaches and actions listed above, the partners ultimately sought to improve students’ classroom experiences, their learning outcomes, as well as teacher retention at TPS. Accordingly, the focus and scope of work for each year of the partnership was designed to build sequentially toward achieving these three ultimate goals.

Our Reach

White icon of a school

45 elementary schools

supported with weekly content cycles focused on K-3 foundational skills.

white line drawing of student raising hand at desk

3851 students

supported with grade-appropriate, equitable instruction last year.

Overhead view of teachers sitting around a round table

105 teacher leaders

developed and coached to facilitate dynamic, curriculum-aligned collaboration each week for peers.

Two hands grasp each other

67 school leaders

supported to strengthen the conditions for professional learning including the master schedule, access to standards-aligned curricula and assessments, and distributed leadership.

Leading Educators Leading Educators
"LE has set us up to have a strong 5-year strategy focused on early literacy with the structures, supports, and processes needed to implement and sustain it ."
Caitlin Richard, Director of District Strategy and Implementation

Learn on the Go!

Check out this in-depth, three-part audio essay series on Tulsa Public Schools’ journey. Education Resource Strategies, who collaborated on shifting people, time, and money to support professional learning examines teacher teaming strategies, school planning, and central office redesign from multiple vantage points.

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