TPS Parts Ways With Administrator

Tulsa Public Schools has decided to part ways with a former administrator who did not have her master's degree when she was hired.

"Tracee Frazier Branch was a good employee. Tracee Frazier Branch came to us highly qualified and she did well on all assessments and she represented she had a master's degree," explained Tulsa Public School Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard.

But Ballard says he did not find out for nearly 10 months that the degree was tied up.

"I think there are things I could have done better and I think there are things I should have done better," he said.

She did lose her contract as of June 30, but continued working as a consultant and paid by the George Kaiser Foundation.

Two weeks ago she was welcoming principals and outlining district goals in a welcome back workshop at McLain High School.

"There in is where I say we did not communicate well enough. She was being seen as administrator," Ballard said.

Ballard says he is ultimately to blame for not knowing Frazier Branch did not have her degree.

"I have taken necessary disciplinary action," Ballard said. "There are people that report directly to me that have taken what I consider to be necessary action."

State representative Jeannie McDaniel is disappointed that Frazier Branch did not resign before now.

"This is one of my most challenging areas of the city and it has been for decades, and we have asked those parents to stick with us, to trust us," said McDaniel, who hopes the district has learned from this.

Frazier Branch has resolved the issues that kept her for receiving her degree, but Dr. Ballard met with her today and says the district has opted to not hire her as an employee or a consultant.