STRATEGIES IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Citywide Education Progress Reports

TULSA: Building Upon the Legacy of Tulsa’s Black Community

How do school systems partner with communities? The historic roots for Tulsa’s black community lie in Greenwood in the northern area of the city. It was once home to “Black Wall Street” before the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 destroyed the thriving black businesses there.
Partnering with the MetCares Foundation, a local community group, Tulsa Public Schools opened Greenwood Leadership Academy in fall 2017. The student body is nearly 100 percent black and mostly low income. Under founding principal Kojo Asamoa-Caesar, campus leaders hope to develop a culture and school design that reflects a commitment to black excellence and draws on Tulsa’s history of a stable, successful black community.

Greenwood Leadership Academy operates under a new governance model authorized by the state through House Bill 1691, which allows MetCares and the district to partner on facilities, transportation, and other district services. Teaching staff are employees of MetCares and the campus shares space with Academy Central Elementary. Much hard work remains, but the school could prove to be an important pathway for increasing student achievement, improving community engagement in the school system, and drawing families back to the district who have left for other schools.

View Tulsa’s citywide education progress report.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education is a research and policy analysis center at the University of Washington Bothell developing systemwide solutions for K–12 public education. Questions? Email crpe@uw.edu.