Tulsa selected for dropout summit

Friday, 04 April 2008
The national America’s Promise Alliance founded by Colin and Alma Powell has chosen Tulsa as a location for a dropout prevention leadership summit. The Alliance has pledged $10,000 in funding for the summit to be held within the next two years.

"Tulsa’s drop-out rates are unacceptable and it is time we addressed the issue head-on," Mayor Kathy Taylor said. "This summit is another way to help better serve these kids."

America’s Promise Alliance ranks Tulsa as having the 12th highest graduation disparity in the country between urban and suburban school districts. The America’s Promise summit will bring together city and community leaders to aggressively address the issue of dropout prevention and recovery. At the summit, leaders will map out an action plan directed at reducing the dropout rate.

Mayor Taylor has emphasized education as a top priority. In May 2007, she hosted a Call to Action summit with Union Public Schools Superintendent Cathy Burden focusing on preschool education, community schools and workforce readiness. Those in attendance included higher education administrators, area school superintendents, members of the Oklahoma Boards of Regents and school board members, as well as leaders in workforce development and alternative education.

In January 2007, Mayor Taylor began her Mentoring to the Max program following the September 2006 Building a Safer Tulsa Summit to Address Gang Violence. Through a donation from Bank of America, free after-school programs have been established at 18 elementary schools in the Tulsa and Union districts. These schools include Addams, Alcott, Bryant, Celia Clinton, Cooper, Eugene Field, Hawthorne, Kendall-Whittier, Mark Twain, Marshall, McClure, McKinley, Boevers, Briarglen, Clark, Grove, McAuliffe, and Rosa Parks.

Mayor Taylor also participated with Tulsa Regents for Higher Education and Tulsa Community College in development of the Tulsa Achieves program. This program provides funding for Tulsa County high-school graduates who meet certain requirements to attend Tulsa Community College tuition-free for two years. This has increased enrollment significantly at TCC beginning with the current 2007-2008 school year.

Since 1997, the America’s Promise Alliance has grown to become the nation’s largest multi-sector alliance focused on the well-being of young people. Today the Alliance encompasses more than 105 partner organizations representing the business community, nonprofits, communities and policymakers.

Last Updated ( Friday, 04 April 2008 )