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Author Topic: Tulsa Public Schools Spending  (Read 201811 times)
Conan71
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« Reply #195 on: April 24, 2012, 12:46:11 pm »

What is it about this school/teachers/parents/students that the others don't have or do?

Aside from great educators, I suspect it has a fair amount to do with what sort of families live in the area.  I live a few blocks away, most of the neighborhood kids I personally know of come from two parent homes.  Iím sure there are also plenty of single parent kids as well, I simply do not know them or their families.  The neighborhood housing is affordable enough that many families could get by on a single income, but itís nice enough that rents and home prices tend to discourage seedier elements from creeping into the neighborhood which usually typify areas where schools have more of an ďat riskĒ status.

If I were a good teacher and I knew there were a few schools in the district with better parental participation, better standardized test scores, other teachers who cared, and really great administration, Iíd want to work at one of them.  The results at Hoover are really nothing new, as far as I know.  I suspect better teachers are easily attracted to such a school.

Letís be honest here, if a child grows up in a good relationship with two successful adults as role models, they are far more likely to expect success of themselves than if they grow up with one or two parents who canít hold down a job, have substance abuse issues, or whose paradigm is nothing but hopelessness and helplessness.

When I was in the Jaycees, we had ďadoptedĒ Hoover as our school.  I suspect community partnership programs have helped Hoover as well.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #196 on: April 24, 2012, 12:49:47 pm »

 Jenks manages to get fantastic results with some of the lowest per pupil spending and higher-than-average pupil to teacher ratio (18:1 vs. 15:1 state average).  

The average income per household for Jenks Southeast is twice the amount of Tulsa for one.

But look what has happened to Jenks Southeast since the legislature has been aggressively taking money away.

Here are the test scores for third grade at this school (first year of testing)

2008 Math 98  reading 100
2009 Math 94  reading 95
2010 Math 93  reading 91

http://www.schoolreportcard.org/DistListWebOutput.asp

Yes, even the mighty and rich Jenks Schools test scores are dropping like flies.

Thank you Oklahoma legislature. You guys must just want a stupid populace.
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« Reply #197 on: April 24, 2012, 01:36:29 pm »

The average income per household for Jenks Southeast is twice the amount of Tulsa for one.

But look what has happened to Jenks Southeast since the legislature has been aggressively taking money away.

Here are the test scores for third grade at this school (first year of testing)

2008 Math 98  reading 100
2009 Math 94  reading 95
2010 Math 93  reading 91

http://www.schoolreportcard.org/DistListWebOutput.asp

Yes, even the mighty and rich Jenks Schools test scores are dropping like flies.

Thank you Oklahoma legislature. You guys must just want a stupid populace.

According to my daughter's first grade teacher at Jenks, that has little to do with funding, and more to do with the changing composition of her class.  She has several bright young students who's parents are very involved, yet they don't speak a word of english.  Though the teacher speaks Spanish, teaching english as a second language on top of the standard curriculum is far more challenging than teaching a class of native English speakers.

While this is a typical challenge faced by schools in other parts of Tulsa, it is relatively new to Jenks based on exactly what you cited as income statistics in the area.  As the area has developed over the years the density has also increased and rental options built in the 90s that used to go for $800/mo are now available for $400/mo.  The 91st and Delewhere apartment offerings are very attractive for families who can't afford a South Tulsa home but want their kids in a South Tulsa school.  

The positive is that the parents willing to make that sacrifice and relocate for the sake of education are usually some of the most involved, despite cultural obstacles. Jenks will simply have to adapt.  Jenks SE teachers are fantastic. All you need to do is tour a Jenks SE classroom to realize that money is not the problem. The classroom resources they have at their disposal are phenomenal.  Smart boards in every classroom, amplified wireless microphones, computers, books, and supplies that require creative solutions just to find storage for.  

Involvement by parents at Jenks SE is so intense that parking becomes the biggest challenge.  

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Conan71
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« Reply #198 on: April 24, 2012, 01:38:41 pm »

The average income per household for Jenks Southeast is twice the amount of Tulsa for one.

But look what has happened to Jenks Southeast since the legislature has been aggressively taking money away.

Here are the test scores for third grade at this school (first year of testing)

2008 Math 98  reading 100
2009 Math 94  reading 95
2010 Math 93  reading 91

http://www.schoolreportcard.org/DistListWebOutput.asp

Yes, even the mighty and rich Jenks Schools test scores are dropping like flies.

Thank you Oklahoma legislature. You guys must just want a stupid populace.

So which is it?  Higher household income or more spending that makes a difference?  I thought the results were highly dependent on how much money the schools spend.
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« Reply #199 on: April 24, 2012, 01:54:39 pm »

According to my daughter's first grade teacher at Jenks, that has little to do with funding, and more to do with the changing composition of her class.  She has several bright young students who's parents are very involved, yet they don't speak a word of english.  Though the teacher speaks Spanish, teaching english as a second language on top of the standard curriculum is far more challenging than teaching a class of native English speakers.

While this is a typical challenge faced by schools in other parts of Tulsa, it is relatively new to Jenks based on exactly what you cited as income statistics in the area.  As the area has developed over the years the density has also increased and rental options built in the 90s that used to go for $800/mo are now available for $400/mo.  The 91st and Delewhere apartment offerings are very attractive for families who can't afford a South Tulsa home but want their kids in a South Tulsa school.  

The positive is that the parents willing to make that sacrifice and relocate for the sake of education are usually some of the most involved, despite cultural obstacles. Jenks will simply have to adapt.  Jenks SE teachers are fantastic. All you need to do is tour a Jenks SE classroom to realize that money is not the problem. The classroom resources they have at their disposal are phenomenal.  Smart boards in every classroom, amplified wireless microphones, computers, books, and supplies that require creative solutions just to find storage for.  

Involvement by parents at Jenks SE is so intense that parking becomes the biggest challenge.  



Really?

I know quite a few Jenks teachers and they are all, every single one of them, up in arms over class size and funding. They do toss some of the blame at Kirby but mostly at the state. My son's fifth class has 28 or 29 students in a room built for a class with more like 20 kids. The teachers are getting overwhelmed. My son gets very little homework anymore simply because the teachers canít grade all of it. The difference from five years ago when my daughter was in fifth grade is striking. Iím not shocked test scores are going down, Iím shocked they arenít down even more.


Donít confuse the outstanding funding for capital projects and facilities that Jenks gets from bond issues with state funding problems that impact teacher pay and class size. Jenks has access to all the local money they want through bond issues, but that money by law has to be spent on capital projects. They stretch the definition of capital pretty far already.
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Conan71
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« Reply #200 on: April 24, 2012, 02:00:51 pm »

Really?

I know quite a few Jenks teachers and they are all, every single one of them, up in arms over class size and funding. They do toss some of the blame at Kirby but mostly at the state. My son's fifth class has 28 or 29 students in a room built for a class with more like 20 kids. The teachers are getting overwhelmed. My son gets very little homework anymore simply because the teachers canít grade all of it. The difference from five years ago when my daughter was in fifth grade is striking. Iím not shocked test scores are going down, Iím shocked they arenít down even more.


Donít confuse the outstanding funding for capital projects and facilities that Jenks gets from bond issues with state funding problems that impact teacher pay and class size. Jenks has access to all the local money they want through bond issues, but that money by law has to be spent on capital projects. They stretch the definition of capital pretty far already.


Swake, when I went to Jenks 25 to 30 per class was the norm.  English, science, math, social studies, PE didnít matter, it was 25 to 30 students middle school through high school with the exception of some elective classes which might be smaller.  The teachers didnít have a problem assigning and grading copious amounts of homework back then.  There were also far fewer resources available to teachers back then.  They didnít have instant communication with parents via email or internet-based blackboard sites to keep assignments straight.

Whatís changed that has made it so difficult for these teachers when it wasnít an overwhelming problem 30 years ago with even fewer resources at their disposal?

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« Reply #201 on: April 24, 2012, 02:05:09 pm »

Maybe you missed this TulsaWorld story, gaspar (or more likely, you didn't remember it because it was in conflict with your beliefs).

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=19&articleid=20120411_19_A1_ULNSrn828293

administrator: Schools' crowded classes 'an embarrassment'
By KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Published: 4/11/2012  

JENKS - With the city's rapid growth and a school district still reeling from years of state funding cuts, school administrators continue to struggle to find a solution to overcrowded classes. "Class sizes in some areas are abysmal," Jenks Superintendent Kirby Lehman said at a recent school board meeting.

"It's such an embarrassment. As class sizes creep up, it makes me sweat. It's not good for us, and it's not good for the kids."

He fears students will pay the ultimate price for the class-size crunch. "It's hard for elementary school students to learn well in a class of 27," Lehman said. "I have a strong feeling about this. We want to have a quality education system."

Jenks isn't the only school district in Oklahoma experiencing such problems, particularly with diminishing state aid. But in the Tulsa area, Jenks appears to be feeling it more acutely than many because of its population boom. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's population rose 77 percent between 2000 and 2010.

This year, Jenks has had an influx of more than 400 students while seeing more than $2 million cut from the budget, school officials say. State per-pupil spending at Jenks has trended lower for years. Per-pupil spending was at $6,293 in 2009-10, compared with projected per-pupil spending at $5,830 in 2011-12.

"Our state aid is back to 2004 levels, yet our district has gained nearly 1,700 students over that time," Jenks Middle School Principal Rob Miller said. "Without increases to state aid in future years, we will continue to be challenged by very large class sizes."

Smaller class sizes, especially from kindergarten to third grade, significantly boost student achievement, according to a study published last year in the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics.

In Jenks, the average class size at the fourth-grade level is 28.4, meaning some classes have 30 or more students. The average for the district's kindergarten classes is 26.2 students, Lehman said. "We're expecting significant student growth next year. What we're asking for is to get fourth-grade classes down to perhaps 25," he said.

Lehman said the district has stellar programs that administrators have chosen to keep. "We keep programs that are good. But if we don't have appropriate funding in place, something has to give," he said. Clearly, the district needs to hire more staff, said Jenks Deputy Superintendent Stacey Butterfield. Ninety-five percent of the district's budget is used for personnel, and cuts have left the coffers dry, she said.

The Jenks school board is considering lowering the district's fund balance, which is similar to a savings account, by 1 percent to hire more teachers and staff. The district currently requires that 8 percent of its operating funds be set aside. The fund balance can't drop too low because it is used for the first month's payroll next year, which comes before the state makes its initial payment to districts. The extra 1 percent would free up $627,000 to hire more teachers and support staff, Lehman said.

He also has spoken out against legislative efforts to reduce personal income taxes, which provide a major source of funding to support state services such as transportation, public safety and education. Jenks and all other Oklahoma schools simply can't take further cuts, Lehman said. "We have wonderful programs. That's part of why we're a great school," he said. "But I don't think we'll be a great school if we don't do something about class size."


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« Reply #202 on: April 24, 2012, 02:23:07 pm »

Swake, when I went to Jenks 25 to 30 per class was the norm.  English, science, math, social studies, PE didnít matter, it was 25 to 30 students middle school through high school with the exception of some elective classes which might be smaller.  The teachers didnít have a problem assigning and grading copious amounts of homework back then.  There were also far fewer resources available to teachers back then.  They didnít have instant communication with parents via email or internet-based blackboard sites to keep assignments straight.

Whatís changed that has made it so difficult for these teachers when it wasnít an overwhelming problem 30 years ago with even fewer resources at their disposal?



Same here.  I always had 25-30 or more kids per class, and there was no such thing as a "teaching assistant" as my kids teachers have now. 

Today my daughter's whole class had a field-trip to the Jenks High School Planetarium, built on the exact spot of my 9th grade history class, where I used to throw gummy bears at the ceiling and learn about dead dudes.

I don't think I ever had a class with less than 20 kids?

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Conan71
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« Reply #203 on: April 24, 2012, 03:07:37 pm »

Same here.  I always had 25-30 or more kids per class, and there was no such thing as a "teaching assistant" as my kids teachers have now. 

Today my daughter's whole class had a field-trip to the Jenks High School Planetarium, built on the exact spot of my 9th grade history class, where I used to throw gummy bears at the ceiling and learn about dead dudes.

I don't think I ever had a class with less than 20 kids?



Hmmm, crickets.

Pay me more for less work and worse results!
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« Reply #204 on: April 24, 2012, 04:16:29 pm »

I would like to hear you public school haters on why some public schools are doing so well. Some of you guys seem to spew commentary about how everything is taught wrong and the teachers can't motivate kids to learn, yet many of our local schools seem to be doing very well.

Here is a good example. Hoover Elementary is in a moderate neighborhood (23rd and Darlington, just southest of Expo Square. They are 48% white, with Hispanic, African American, and American Indian students evenly splitting up the remainder. 71% of the kids qualify for reduced or free lunch based on their household income.  

By your mindset, the teachers must be failures and the kids ignorant.

Yet the teachers succeed every day in teaching the kids. Of the 39 staff members, 19 have Bachelor degrees and 20 have a Masters degree. 24 of the teachers have been there 11+ years. The daily attendance for the 568 kids is 94%. The test scores exceed the state target by 20 to 30% in every subject.

This school is succeeding despite many challenges. But I am afraid it can't continue this success with continual reduced funding from the state. The legislature cut almost $100 million dollars out of the education budget last year and you could see a direct correlation with Hoover's class sizes growing and test scores down about two points in every subject. The average class size is now going to increase by another one or two children next year. The average class size in high school is now going to be 29 students

State surplus revenues are not going back into education funding. 75 more teachers will be cut this. Counselors, clerks and coaches will be cut. Most art programs are now at risk. All tutoring programs will be eliminated next year.

Some public schools are succeeding wonderfully, yet the continual budget cuts are threatening even these best schools. It is time to say no more cuts to education, especially in a surplus year when they are talking about reducing taxes.

Test scores mean nothing. For all we know, those teachers could be teaching strictly for the test and that is why the scores are so high. Most likely this is not the case with the majority of teachers. However, there are probably some who do, just like in any school which places a priority on standardized testing.

For all I know, Hoover could be a great school filled with great teachers. For all I know, it could be just the opposite. This is not an attack on teachers, because there are many fantastic ones out there. I've just come across so many that aren't that I have become immune to the "meaning" of test scores. I don't qualify them as a reliable way to determine the quality of a school.
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« Reply #205 on: April 24, 2012, 04:24:32 pm »

Really?

I know quite a few Jenks teachers and they are all, every single one of them, up in arms over class size and funding. They do toss some of the blame at Kirby but mostly at the state. My son's fifth class has 28 or 29 students in a room built for a class with more like 20 kids. The teachers are getting overwhelmed. My son gets very little homework anymore simply because the teachers canít grade all of it. The difference from five years ago when my daughter was in fifth grade is striking. Iím not shocked test scores are going down, Iím shocked they arenít down even more.


Donít confuse the outstanding funding for capital projects and facilities that Jenks gets from bond issues with state funding problems that impact teacher pay and class size. Jenks has access to all the local money they want through bond issues, but that money by law has to be spent on capital projects. They stretch the definition of capital pretty far already.


While I don't believe Gaspar is lying, this is much more of the vibe I receive from Jenks teachers as well.
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« Reply #206 on: April 24, 2012, 06:28:58 pm »

gaspar just knows a teacher who whines about having hispanic kids in her class.

Of course, he believes her version of the story because it seems to make sense to him.
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« Reply #207 on: April 24, 2012, 07:55:43 pm »

The average income per household for Jenks Southeast is twice the amount of Tulsa for one.

But look what has happened to Jenks Southeast since the legislature has been aggressively taking money away.

Here are the test scores for third grade at this school (first year of testing)

2008 Math 98  reading 100
2009 Math 94  reading 95
2010 Math 93  reading 91

http://www.schoolreportcard.org/DistListWebOutput.asp

Yes, even the mighty and rich Jenks Schools test scores are dropping like flies.

Thank you Oklahoma legislature. You guys must just want a stupid populace.

If the legislature had intelligent people voting for them, they would not be in office, so yeah, they want a stupid populace.  And they got it in great part because they DO keep getting elected.

Union is having problems.  I had a kid living with me for three years until last year attending Union intermediate on Garnett, north of 81st.  She had 25 to 30 in her classes.  She said Union was, and I quote, "so ghetto..."!  And this is a kid who KNOWS ghetto from living in one in southeast area of Louisiana.  

Then proceeded to describe the drugs just outside the doors, the kids having sex in various places around the school - mostly outdoors, but some inside.  Weapons from time to time - mostly knives.  Good times!!  Just like I remember from high school!!!

No school system is immune (I can remember some of the Catholics from Holland Hall when I was a kid who were VERY fun to party with...and since they were rich, they always had the best party supplies) to problems.  Jenks and Union may have some areas that are better than average - but maybe not - and they do have parents who tend to be more active, but in somewhat more denial.





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« Reply #208 on: April 24, 2012, 08:12:12 pm »

Quote
Union is having problems.  I had a kid living with me for three years until last year attending Union intermediate on Garnett, north of 81st.  She had 25 to 30 in her classes.  She said Union was, and I quote, "so ghetto..."!  And this is a kid who KNOWS ghetto from living in one in southeast area of Louisiana. 

Then proceeded to describe the drugs just outside the doors, the kids having sex in various places around the school - mostly outdoors, but some inside.  Weapons from time to time - mostly knives.  Good times!!  Just like I remember from high school!!!

No school system is immune (I can remember some of the Catholics from Holland Hall when I was a kid who were VERY fun to party with...and since they were rich, they always had the best party supplies) to problems.  Jenks and Union may have some areas that are better than average - but maybe not - and they do have parents who tend to be more active, but in somewhat more denial.

Does anyone remember my comments about concentric rings of decay?  A good deal of union schools was building the late 70's early 80's.  Thirty years later and the honkeys have run even further out from city center (Think 101st and what the hell in broken arra).  When that happens the 20-30 yeard houses turn into rent properties and decay (they wern't meant to last longer than 50 years anyway) and lead to suburban slums.  Look at north or east Tulsa.  As long as people maintain this racist notion about what it means to be "in the city" we will have flight out to the boonies.  The socially and economically marginallized will get the left-overs of an older generation of white flight.  The only good thing is that I know where those psuedo-klan, redneck, inhoff voting mouthbreathers are - nowhere near my awesome kid!

(Sorry for my ranty thread drift.  I'm in a weird mood.)

For the record, My wife and I (ok mostly her) have decided that our daughter WILL be attending public school.
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« Reply #209 on: April 24, 2012, 08:29:17 pm »

The socially and economically marginallized will get the left-overs of an older generation of white flight. 

Whether it is/was white flight or rich people just wanting something else or newer, "The socially and economically marginallized will get the left-overs of an older generation".  It's called affordable housing in most cities.
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