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Stand For Children Oklahoma Releases Study On OKCPS Leadership Impact

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A new study sheds light on one reason that students in Oklahoma City public schools may struggle compared to their peers in other districts. A new study sheds light on one reason that students in Oklahoma City public schools may struggle compared to their peers in other districts.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A new study sheds light on one reason that students in Oklahoma City public schools may struggle compared to their peers in other districts.

The group “Stand for Children Oklahoma” released the study this week showing just how little consistency there is in the leadership of the individual schools in the Oklahoma City district. It also shows the impact.

According to the study, Oklahoma City employed 74 elementary, middle, and high school principals from1993 through 2014. The district averaged more than 16 principal changes per year. In other words, one of every five schools in the district would start the year with a different principal. The study says this costs the district about $1.2 million annually.

But more than that, it causes student and teacher morale to drop, undermines the implementation of curriculum, exacerbates discipline problems, and makes it even harder to recruit excellent teachers.

Stand for Children praised Oklahoma City for some of the reforms it's made, aimed at retaining principals, but is also calling on district leaders to strengthen these efforts.

In a statement, District Superintendent Rob Neu acknowledged this is a very serious issue and says, "Oklahoma City Public School leaders have taken proactive steps to end the revolving door by supporting and empowering principals and recognizing potential building leaders."

Neu says these steps are all included in "The Great Commitment," which is the district's strategic plan approved in June.

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