Last week, the IMPACT!Tulsa (Impact Tulsa) team, led by CEO Kathy Taylor, had the opportunity to present the partnership to the Foundation for Tulsa Schools.
Led by Lucky Lamons, President & CEO of the Foundation for Tulsa Schools, the foundation is responsible for fundraising efforts for the Tulsa Public Schools district. The Foundation for Tulsa Schools helps fund Teachers and Leaders Effectiveness (TLE) and Community Schools with the help of partners from the Tulsa community including individuals and businesses such as AEP. The board is made up of a cross-sector partnership between business and the philanthropy community.
Taylor shared how vital it is to move from individual efforts to shared priorities, and shared accountability. “By 2018, nearly 60% of our workforce will need some form of post-secondary degree, however only 37% of the Tulsa area population currently has a associates degree or higher.
Taylor continued, “Between the 15 school districts, 300+ early childhood providers, and 100+ education-related nonprofits, we have pockets of excellence. One challenge is that so many providers are unable to benefit from sharing best practices and scale what’s working. IMPACT!Tulsa (Impact Tulsa) is here to help measure what matters, identify what’s working, share with others, and help align resources.”
“We want to engage the community to provide a pathway where all students are guaranteed a high quality education from cradle to career. Yes, there are challenges, but we don’t need a new program—we need to change the way we are working together,” said Taylor.
“In the past, everyone was siloed, and driven by a specific program or funding. Or we were focused only on our own program data, etc,” said Foundation for Tulsa Schools President and CEO, Lucky Lammons.
Lammons added, “the superintendent asked us to look at this model after he’d seen examples of success in many cities.” Tulsa Public School Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard, attended a conference in February sponsored by STRIVE (www.strivetogether.com) along with other Tulsa area superintendents. The STRIVE TOGETHER network works with local partnerships like IMPACT!Tulsa in over 70 cities around the concept of collective impact.
“So many times data is used as a microscope as public schools. IMPACT!Tulsa (Impact Tulsa) is new way of working and people can protective of their data. We’re gonna have to trust each other. It will be great to have a third party look at all the data, identify what’s working, then we can align our resources and our individual schools and students better. We’re looking to IMPACT!Tulsa for information on best practices and what’s working not only in other cities but here in our own community. This way, before we go to funders, we have the data. We’ll more informed on what’s moving the outcomes to help students succeed in school.