A high-quality workforce is essential to growing and sustaining Oklahoma’s economy. A robust workforce requires strong elementary, secondary and higher education systems, as well as effective career training programs. The State Chamber of Oklahoma Research Foundation delves into our state’s educational and workforce models, outcomes and funding to identify evidence-based approaches for strengthening Oklahoma’s current and future workforce.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is a national survey of student achievement conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Education. A representative sample of fourth and eighth graders are tested annually in the subjects of math and reading in each of the fifty states. Known as “the nation’s report card”, NAEP scores gauge student performance in the nation as a whole, as well as comparing performance among the states.
Increased transparency in educational outcomes is a hallmark of education reform efforts. In recent years, reform efforts have focused on a push for increased transparency and accountability at the local level. The United States’ decentralized system of education makes it difficult to use national or even statewide metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of educational policy decisions. With educational outcomes relying so much on local school boards and school leadership (such as principals and superintendents), many policymakers have pressed for school-by-school and district-by-district accountability measures. In Oklahoma, lawmakers have adopted an A-F report card system for individual public schools.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education recently released their 2017-2018 school report cards. The Oklahoma School Report Cards show how public schools across the state are serving students in a variety of areas.
Oklahoma’s system of public colleges and universities plays a large and important role in the state’s economy, supporting $8.21 billion of total economic output in FY2016. This study examines the role of higher education in generating economic growth, the overall effectiveness of the system, the resulting impact on Oklahoma's workforce and the economic contributions of specific Oklahoma universities. Read the report.
The demand for STEM talent in Oklahoma is growing. Between 2017 and 2027, Oklahoma jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields are expected to grow by 8%, but Oklahoma business leaders currently cannot find the STEM talent they need to stay competitive. One reason for the lack of talent is Oklahoma students’ relatively poor performance in K-12 math and science. These struggles with STEM subjects don’t end in high school. Oklahoma loses STEM talent at every level of the education system.