Get to Know The Community Action Project
The state of Oklahoma is a leader in providing access to early childhood education to its citizens. The Community Action Project (CAP), a Teach For America - Oklahoma placement partner, is one of the organizations at the forefront of early childhood education in Oklahoma and across the nation. CAP’s vision is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by improving the prospects of long-term economic success for very young children from low-income backgrounds, their families, and the communities in which they live.
Tulsa’s vibrant African American community, Greenwood, is shattered when more than 6,000 residents are detained in a prison camp and 10,000 are left homeless following one of the country's most devasting race riots. The destruction of the community and the distrust it generated will have lasting effects on the opportunities afforded to Tulsa’s African American children.
More than three years after applying, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, a graduate of Langston University and a black woman, is admitted to the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law. Fisher had been denied admission on the basis that Oklahoma statutes prohibited whites and blacks from attending class together. Her appeal of the decision to the United States Supreme Court laid the groundwork for 1954’s Brown v. the Board of Education.
After nearly 100 years of American Indian boarding schools, the Kennedy Report declares Indian education a national tragedy, revealing that "only about one-tenth of the teachers mentioned academic achievement as an important goal …many [saw] their role as 'civilizing the native.'" As a result, many of the country’s large Indian boarding schools close in the 1980s and early 1990s. While some tribally-run boarding schools are still in existence in the state, the economic and emotional scars from forced boarding schools still run deep in our American Indian community.
In response to a 1961 lawsuit, the United States Supreme Court orders the Oklahoma City Public School District to develop desegregation plans. Over the next 40 years, district enrollment decreases by 48%, with the losses hitting northeast Oklahoma City the hardest. At the same time, enrollment in the Tulsa Public Schools decreases from 80,000 students in 1969 to 42,000 students in 1972. The students who remain in both districts are primarily the children of low–income households.
Governor David Walters appoints Dr. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher to the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma.
Legislators pass SB 2033, mandating stronger teacher and school leader guidelines and evaluations, based in part on student achievement data. Additionally, SB 2033 dictates that any reductions in force will be based on performance evaluations rather than tenure. The law also reduces the time and processes for trial proceedings to dismiss a teacher and allows individual school districts to define their own incentive pay systems.
I love the passion that Oklahoma has for educational reform and the investment of the community in pushing for educational equality.