Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Governor Mary Fallin, Former Governor Jeb Bush Visit KIPP Reach School in Oklahoma City
KIPP Reach Students and Teachers Showcase Successes
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush today visited with administrators, teachers and students at the KIPP Reach College Prep School in Oklahoma City. Fallin has been an advocate for ongoing education reform and improvement initiatives in Oklahoma, while Bush serves as the Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd).
The governors held two separate roundtable discussions – one with teachers and administrators and one with students – to discuss successful teaching and learning practices at KIPP Reach.
Founded in 2002, KIPP Reach College Preparatory is a charter middle school putting underserved students on the path to success in college and in life. Part of the national network of 141 KIPP public charter schools, KIPP Reach serves students in fifth through eighth grade, and has consistently delivered strong outcomes for its students.
Over eighty percent of students at KIPP are eligible for the federal free or reduced lunch program available to low income students, compared to the Oklahoma state average of 62 percent. KIPP Reach received an “A” from the State Department of Education on the state’s A-F report card, which scores student achievement and improvement in a variety of subjects. Additionally, KIPP Reach middle school alumni have a high school graduation rate of 98 percent, compared to the statewide average of 78 percent. Nationally, KIPP’s college completion rate is four times the college completion rate of students from similar economic backgrounds.
“I believe every child can learn, regardless of where they started in life or what challenges they are facing,” said Fallin. “Oklahoma has great teachers who work hard and believe in what they are doing. As a state, we are working to empower those teachers and give them the tools they need to make the greatest impact in the lives of our children.
“KIPP Reach is an example of a school that has thrived despite facing a lot of obstacles,” Fallin continued. “It was exciting to meet with teachers and students to discuss what they are doing to overcome these obstacles and consistently achieve great results.”
Bush praised KIPP Reach as well as ongoing education reform and improvement initiatives in Oklahoma.
“KIPP Reach is known for its great teachers, its ‘no excuses’ attitude, and its command focus on students’ learning,” said Bush. “Oklahoma has been a national leader in reform and as a result thousands of low-income students now have an opportunity to access high quality schools like KIPP Reach. I applaud Governor Fallin for her support and state leaders and teachers for their ongoing commitment to implement bold reforms that foster choice, accountability, and high expectations in education.”
KIPP Reach Founding Principal Tracy McDaniel said he was grateful that Fallin and Bush visited the school.
“We’re honored that Governor Fallin and Governor Bush are visiting our school,” said McDaniel. “It is a tribute to the hard work of our students and teachers. However, we will not be truly satisfied until all our students have climbed the mountain to and through college.”