Issue 53          

August 2017 

Welcome to Data Blast, an e-newsletter prepared and distributed by the Census Information Center
of Eastern Oklahoma, 
a program of the Community Service Council. Data Blast is intended to inform
and educate people in eastern Oklahoma about population, economic, educational, health and social trends in our local communities as well as in our state and nation.

In This Issue...
Education Trends in the Tulsa Area
As Tulsa area children return to school for the fall semester, we've chosen to focus this month's data on education, which is one of Community Service Council's core investment areas. From Pre-K through high school, school attendance and success are essential to a child's present and future well-being.

New Census Data Release Announcement
The 2016 one-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates will be released Sept. 14. Look for more information in the September issue of Data Blast!

 

  • Oklahoma receives national recognition for being one of the first states to implement universal Pre-Kindergarten in the late 1990s. 
  • Pre-K has been shown to have both short- and long-term positive impacts on children - academically, socially, physically and economically.
  • Although the number of children enrolled in public Pre-K programs in Tulsa County has more than doubled since 2001, it still falls short of the number attending Kindergarten - a sign that many children entering Kindergarten are not benefiting from public Pre-K. 
  • Based on enrollment data and estimates of the number of Kindergarten retentions, about 25% of Tulsa County public school Kindergartners  in the 2016-17 school year are estimated to have not attended a public Pre-K program. 
  • Children enrolled in Head Start, Educare and certain childcare Pre-K programs are included in public Pre-K count count. However, children who attended private Pre-K programs are not included in the count. 


 

  • Public school districts in Tulsa County have made great strides in providing and enrolling four year olds in Pre-K programs. 
  • 6,000+ four year olds were enrolled in full-day and 400+ in half-day public Pre-K in the above 14 districts during the 2016-17 school year. Every year schools are increasingly replacing half-day slots with full-day slots.
  • When exploring the impact of Pre-K on children and their communities, the Urban Child Institute found evidence that children who attend Pre-K benefit from heightened vocabulary scores, improved attendance and high school graduation rates.
  • Research on the long-term benefits of Pre-K suggest that children who attend are more likely to avoid criminal behavior, be more resilient, and have increased earnings and better health.
  • Research also shows that investing in Pre-K as a community benefits the private citizen, as well as local, state and federal government. 


  • According to a 2016 ImpactTulsa report, 57% of children entering kindergarten were ready to learn to read, leaving 43% that were not ready to learn to read.
  • Disparities were found both by income level and by race/ethnicity.
  • Of low-income children, 45% were ready to learn to read upon entering kindergarten compared to 74% of not low-income children.
  • By race and ethnicity, 67% of white children, 41% of African American children, 63% of Native American children, 59% of Asian children and 38% of Hispanic children entering kindergarten were ready to learn to read.
  • The study also found that kindergartners who had attended Pre-K were more likely to be ready to learn to read than were those who had not attended Pre-K.

  • Tulsa County's dropout rate for school year 2015-16 is fairly consistent with the proportion of the adult population without a high school diploma - 10.3% and 10.8%, respectively. Some of these dropouts will eventually earn a GED, which is generally considered equivalent to a diploma.
  • Tulsa County's dropout rate has been steadily trending downward for the past decade, from 18.2% in school year 2006-07 to 10.3% in 2015-16. Every public school district in the county except for Tulsa has a dropout rate below 10%. 
  • Tulsa Public Schools reports a 21.8% dropout rate, meaning that about one out of every five students from the 2016 graduating cohort dropped out at some point during the four years of high school (does not include students transferring to another school district).
  • Tulsa County's average freshman graduation rate (AFGR) for school year 2015-16 is 83.6% - also an improvement over past years. Students who take an extra year to graduate and therefore do not graduate with the cohort with whom they started as freshmen are not counted in the AFGR.
  • All district high schools in Tulsa County except for some in Tulsa have cohort graduation rates above 85%. These rates in Tulsa Public Schools range from highs of over 95% at Booker T. Washington and 88% at Edison to lows of 46% at McLain and 57% at Hale (excluding alternative schools).

  • On the 3rd grade reading test, 80% of Tulsa County students scored proficient or above, and 72% scored proficient or above on the 3rd grade math test. 
  • Berryhill and Liberty have the highest levels of 3rd grade reading proficiency at 95%, while Tulsa has the lowest at 66%.
  • 3rd grade reading proficiency is critical because it is the last year that students are taught to read. Beginning in 4th grade, students are expected to begin reading to learn.
  • Performance on the 3rd grade reading test is a strong indicator for later academic success.


Until next time,

Melanie Poulter 
Program Manager
Census Information Center of Eastern Oklahoma
Community Service Council

 
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We welcome your feedback, so please contact us at  mpoulter@csctulsa.org with your comments, questions and suggestions.
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