Recommendations

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

CULTURE, CLIMATE & ORGANIZATIONAL EFFICACY
1.0 Grow the capacity of educators with a focus on evidence and results. Provide support mechanisms for partnerships through which collective capacity of the school or district may be built.

2.0 Review policies to ensure that they provide and encourage supportive conditions and structures to engage parents and students through personalized learning initiatives. Provide support for diversity and flexibility to meet the policies in multiple ways.

3.0 Revise policies to ensure supportive conditions and flexible structures for continuous improvement and innovation.

4.0 Establish policies to provide a system of support for the safety, health, and mental well-being of all students and adults.

5.0 Extend policies and seek ways to ensure access to equal educational opportunities and the diverse contexts of learning that all students need for the development of democratic character.

LEARNING, TEACHING AND ASSESSING FOR STUDENT SUCCESS
1.0 Develop personalized instructional pathways allowing students to progress at their own pace to graduation.

2.0 Promote early learning and foster school success to prepare for college, career readiness, and citizenship.

2.1 Develop an integrated early childhood system that includes effective and specific practices.

2.2 Require all early childhood teachers to be well trained and competent in best practices.

2.3 Provide adequate and equitable access, support, and guidance to prepare all students for college, career, and citizenship readiness.

3.0 Revise Oklahoma policies to align with the requirements of the Oklahoma standards and its assessments.

4.0 Develop a balanced statewide assessment system that measures individual student growth and provides real-time data that is readily available, easily accessible, easily understandable, and able to be manipulated into charts and graphs for sharing with students and parents.

5.0 Provide technology integration that will enhance teaching and student learning.

5.1 The Oklahoma Department of Education and Oklahoma legislature will provide adequate infrastructure to sustain a variety of technologies designed to support student learning and facilitate assessments.

6.0 Revise the guidelines for teacher preparation to require substantial and adequate clinical experience during preservice teacher preparation and all teacher preparation routes as well as a focus on pedagogy using research-based practices.

6.1 Require and support a change in requirements to include clinical experiences (for a minimum length of one semester) for all entering the profession.

6.2 School districts and universities will jointly design and supervise strong, clinical practice collaborations and will offer incentives to schools that act as clinical settings for teacher candidates.

7.0 Reshape Oklahoma policies and strategies related to professional development and instructional improvement to support teachers’ engagement in effective and sustained professional development.

EARLY AND EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENT SUCCESS
1.0 Create a statewide initiative that supports and promotes all districts with their community partners in providing free, equitable, early, and expanded education opportunities to all children and families.

1.1 Review and implement the Oklahoma Afterschool Quality Standards and Assessment Tool for new and existing programs to ensure that our students are receiving rigorous and authentic learning experiences within an environment that promotes education, health, and safety.

1.2 Provide adequate funding for continuation of Oklahoma’s strong preschool and full-day kindergarten programs with access for all children.

1.3 Secure financial sustainability for effective early and expanded learning programs for all children in Oklahoma, such as Educare, Smart Start, and the Oklahoma Afterschool Network.

2.0 Establish a statewide family-engagement initiative to ensure our families have the support to develop partnerships with school and community resources necessary for student success.

2.1 Create collaborative networks amongst counties that provide accessible and equitable education, social services, and resources to all families, regardless of income or geographical location to coordinate services for children, starting with 0-4 year olds.

2.2 Create public-private partnerships in local communities between local businesses and educational and human services organizations to provide authentic, expanded learning activities for students during out-of-school time.

2.3 Encourage districts to adopt policies and guidelines to provide year-round building access to allow schools and other agencies to provide before-/afterschool and summer programs.

2.4 Expand grant funding for Oklahoma Parents As Teachers so that more districts have access to this successful program.

3.0 Integrate career counseling and teacher-student mentorship into all schools to ensure exposure to positive connections and guidance for secondary students.

GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY
1.0 Examine the training requirements for board members to determine if the current system is best for school governance, including additional filing requirements, i.e., a pre-orientation for prospective board members.

2.0 Review the appropriate amount of instruction with flexibility to select days taught or hours taught, incrementally adding five more days or 1,200 hours to the school calendar.

3.0 Support research-based ways to improve efficiency or educational attainment when considering school size and consolidation issues.

4.0 Review state regulations and policies regarding hiring practices for districts and, if needed, propose revision of these policies to provide more local control and flexibility in governing of districts, including hiring and district fiscal efficiency. Adjust policies to allow for sharing of teachers and resources as needed or provide mechanisms to support districts to provide fast-track certification methods.

5.0 Investigate revising of the accountability system to include supports for real school improvement, not just for purposes of ranking schools and districts.

5.1 Conduct a study to evaluate the amount of reduced classroom time due to standardized testing and to determine other strategies for gaining accountability measures of student performance.

5.2 Establish guidelines and technological resources for district websites as a means of communication with the community, parents, and students, allowing for openness and transparency.

6.0 Establish policies and support for innovative approaches within and among public schools to allow them to provide additional choices for optimizing learning for all students. Limit the privatization of public resources through supplemental services and school choice.

PARTNERSHIPS FOR HUMAN CAPITAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
1.0 Recruit top high school graduates to become education majors.

1.1 Provide monetary incentives in order to recruit top teacher preparation graduates into the teaching profession in Oklahoma.

1.2 Provide monetary incentives to recruit teachers from other states and other professions, to adjust policies and regulations to allow other professionals to successfully transition to education, and to invest resources and align policies to retain teachers.

2.0 Establish one set of standards to provide more consistency in teacher preparation programs from college to college, focus more intently on methodology, and ensure adequate clinical practice.

2.1 Align teacher certification to reflect research-based practices to improve teacher effectiveness.

3.0 Implement a strong statewide “new teacher” mentoring program that is focused on supporting and retaining teachers in the first three years of their careers.

4.0 Incrementally add days into the school calendar for systemic and comprehensive professional development.v

5.0 To ensure effective school leadership, bring together experts in the areas of state, university, and local school leadership development to review successful administrator preparation programs characteristics (including possible program redesign, accreditation, recruitment subsidies, internship supports, mentoring, and professional development academies) and recommend a concrete plan and provide a sustainable, sufficient funding mechanism to improve the entire system of recruitment, preparation, and development of school leaders.

6.0 Sustain the Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System so that teachers view a career in Oklahoma as a long-term investment.

PHYSICAL RESOURCES
1.0 Resolve the inequities in school facilities, technology, and transportation within the state of Oklahoma and take actions to fund inadequacies in school facilities attended by low-income children and other infrastructure-related health, safety, and accessibility issues as a state priority.

1.1 Develop criteria by which all school facilities, technology, and transportation will be evaluated in the state of Oklahoma and conduct a statewide school infrastructure assessment.

1.2 Using the criteria determined in 1-1, assess adequacy of all school facilities, technology, and transportation in the state of Oklahoma.
1.3 Implement a plan to address inequities in school facilities, technology, and transportation for schools in the state of Oklahoma.

2.0 Establish criteria outlining what constitutes adequate school facility, technology, and transportation, including all necessary components for: a) elementary education, b) middle school education, and c) high school education.

2.1 Establish a method of providing substantially equitable facilities, technology, and transportation for all schools in Oklahoma as necessary to ensure equitable opportunity for high-quality education.

2.2 Establish a process to conduct a review and assessment of all public school facilities, technology, and transportation in the state to determine which are in compliance with the recommendations of this task force.

2.3 Establish policies and criteria for use in determining renovation, replacement, or discontinuation of inadequate facilities, technology, and transportation based upon statewide adequacy standards and other requirements necessary to ensure adequate and substantially equal school facilities, technology, and transportation.

2.4 Determine the average cost of an adequate, safe school facility in Oklahoma.

2.5 Establish a method of funding the cost of adequate and substantially equitable school facilities, technology, and transportation.

2.6 Establish a method to assess, evaluate, and monitor the school facilities, technology, and transportation across the state to ensure that adequate and substantially equitable facilities are and will continue to be provided for Oklahoma school children.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
1.0 Provide adequate and equitable funding needed to meet Oklahoma’s goals for all children.

1.1 Conduct a comprehensive review and revision of the Oklahoma Common Education State Aid Funding Formula with implementation of recommendations into state policy.

1.2 Conduct a thorough review of the current mechanisms and potential modifications that would allow for diversification of revenue support for local districts.

2.0 Provide greater flexibility to local school districts to exercise a high level of decision-making authority about the most effective strategies for the expenditure of funds to enable all students to graduate successfully, yet maintain accountability for efficiency in expenditure of public funds.

2.1 Provide monetary incentives to recruit teachers from other states and other professions, to adjust policies and regulations to allow other professionals to successfully transition to education, and to invest resources and align policies to retain teachers.

3.0 Initiate a process to review and revise policies to allow districts to work together to create financial and human capital efficiencies.

4.0 Create a capital improvement formula and mechanism to fund the Oklahoma Building Equalization Fund.

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