An ImpactTulsa Update: Efforts to Combat the "Summer Slide" Among TPS Students

Jul 13, 2015

On this edition of ST, we learn about the "summer slide." This phrase is what educational researchers use to refer to the approximately two months of grade-level learning that school kids lose without summertime academic enrichment. Our guests are Kathy Taylor, the CEO of ImpactTulsa and a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Anthony Grant, a recent Teach for America alum who is based in Tulsa (and who will soon be the Vice-Principal at Anderson Elementary School); both are working to combat "summer slide" amid Tulsa-area schoolchildren. ImpactTulsa, as was noted in an appreciative editorial in the Tulsa World last fall, is a nonprofit that takes a "data-driven approach to improving student outcomes.... In the Tulsa tradition, a group of community leaders has recognized a daunting problem, worked out a smart strategy for addressing it, and are forging ahead. ImpactTulsa is a privately organized, data-driven effort to make real, measurable improvements in metropolitan Tulsa's public schools." And so, as we learn today, ImpactTulsa has found that one important way to address the "summer slide" is to increase reading proficiency among Tulsa Public School third graders. Taylor and Grant explain how this is being accomplished and why third grade in particular is so crucial. They also talk about other notable (and ongoing) ImpactTulsa programs, such as "Ready to Read" and "Graduate 918."