We believe that Oklahoma’s educational crisis boils down to a single issue: the quality of human capital in our schools. Each year the State Board of Education approves over 3,000 emergency teaching certificates due to the statewide teacher shortage. Additionally, teacher preparation program enrollment in Oklahoma has dropped 34% since 2003. Experts estimate that 9,000 teachers will be eligible to retire in the next three years and nearly 11% of Oklahoma teachers are lost to neighboring states every year. Data shows the majority of teachers in Oklahoma leave the teaching profession between 2-5 years.
TLI believes that the difficult work of retaining teachers and improving instructional quality happens one classroom at a time through one-on-one coaching. The Teaching and Leading Initiative’s teacher and leader coaching helps retain Oklahoma educators by giving them the support they need to improve their practices and maintain sustainable careers in education.