More than 20% of the school districts have shifted from a 5-day school week to a 4-day, 50K kids are in classrooms with emergency teachers, and 383 teachers leave the system every month.
On the back of which, according to the Oklahoma Policy Institute , state funding for education has dropped 9% from 2008 to 2018, while the number of students has increased by 8% over the same period (that's like a 20% move in the wrong direction).
Learning about the situation in Oklahoma made my colleagues and I frustrated, and, well, angry. And so, a group of us from Social Finance , the Milken Institute , and Ashoka have gotten together to do something about this situation in Oklahoma.
The Big Idea, something that has never been done before, is to create an Oklahoma Teachers Outcome Fund . An outcomes fund is a pay for performance tool which looks to aggregate capital from a committed group of funders to identify and scale solutions that work to improve student and teacher engagement, retention, and achievement.
Since all the work is being done on a volunteer basis, we've started a gofundme campaign to raise US$12,000.
I know, sort of unorthodox, but it's just as important that we drum up support from our professional community, as it is from the installed base of institutions.
All the proceeds from this campaign, in combination with funding from our teams, will be used for:
(30%) Interview a range of stakeholders (20+) from across the groups we think are relevant (funders, teacher networks, policy groups, nonprofits, PTA) and conduct primary research on the ground;
(60%) Hold a workshop in Oklahoma as a structured brainstorming session where we get funders around the table to workshop with folks on the ground who have solution ideas;
(10%) And finally, pull all the findings together, lay out the potential solutions, and lock-in the logistics of a fund.
The timeline for the workshop is end October / early November 2017.
For those who contribute (and opt-in) we will keep you updated of our progress with a monthly newsletter.
We're not from Oklahoma, and most likely neither are you, but if we can come together and get this Fund off the ground in Oklahoma, then we can replicate it across the U.S.A. and significantly move the needle on educational reform.
Even if you're just remotely interested in seeing where this goes please contribute to the Oklahoma Teachers Outcome Fund campaign.
The Team from Social Finance
Caitlin MacLean , Director Innovative Finance, Milken Institute
Adam Bornstein , CFO, Ashoka
- Mark Walsh
- Corissa Steiner
- William Kelly
- Waleah Turner
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