FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/14/18
LEADING EDUCATORS LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE TEACHER DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY WITH TPS
Professional learning approach will dramatically expand supports for content mastery
TULSA, Okla. - May 14, 2018
Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) launched Empower, a dynamic professional learning strategy that will incorporate focused collaboration into the day-to-day work of teachers, in 10 schools this weekend.
Building on the district’s “Destination Excellence” vision of inspiring and preparing every student to love learning and achieve ambitious goals, Empower creates weekly opportunities for teams of teachers in a content area to lead collaborative learning and practice in rigorous standards and pedagogical best practices. The program, developed in partnership with Leading Educators, stems from a central belief that schools are a critical unit of social change, and teacher leaders should be drivers of that change in pursuit of equity. In order for schools and districts to achieve equitable student outcomes, all students need to consistently experience rigorous and joyful learning and great teaching.
Danielle Neves, the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for TPS, shared, “Meeting our ambitious goals for students will require outstanding learning for our educators that is grounded in content and curricula, happening day-to-day and week-to-week in schools, and led by and for teachers. Leading Educators is supporting us, but it is our work as a district, our vision, our ambitious goals for students.”
Leading Educators began planning with TPS one year ago to ensure that conditions and leadership at all levels of the district would be prepared for an effective roll-out. The program is designed to gradually scale over a multi-year arc so support structures and planning systems become fully embedded in the district’s operations. This approach offers greater consistency and relevance relative to traditional, outside professional development options and focuses district-led work on iterative practice known to directly effect to student learning.
Leading Educators has worked with Education Resource Strategies to help school leaders align time, people, and money to schools’ priorities. Each Empower school’s content-specific teams will experience 90 minutes of collaborative learning time within their master schedule each week - an increase of 30 minutes over previous years. TNTP supported this planning by conducting classroom walkthroughs meant to assess current instruction across the district.
The Empower program’s first cohort of 55 educators was inducted on Saturday, May 12th in Tulsa.
“We believe we can accomplish something incredible together in Tulsa that radically changes expectations for what our teachers and students can collectively achieve when effectively supported to master strong content,” said Chong-Hao Fu, Leading Educators’ current Chief Learning Officer and incoming Chief Executive Officer.