In Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture school models, schools use job redesign and technology to reach more students with excellent teachers, for more pay, within budget. As districts and schools around the country consider implementing their own Opportunity Cultures, they want real-life examples of just how others have already done so.
Today, we begin a series of case studies that provide in-depth looks at how districts, charter schools, and other programs have begun using Opportunity Culture models or experimented with similar means of expanding teachers’ impact on students and peer teachers. In the studies, we will describe new programs, including personal descriptions of teachers involved. We will also analyze how well the programs stack up to the five Opportunity Culture Principles, which call for reaching more students with excellent teaching, higher pay, sustainable funding, job-embedded development opportunity, and authority and accountability aligned with each teacher’s responsibilities.
In our first study, Leading Educators: Empowering Teacher-Leaders to Extend Their Reach by Leading Teams, we profile Anna Lavely of Kansas, who participates in Leading Educators’ two-year fellowship aimed at developing the leadership of already-excellent teachers.
Leading Educators’ fellows are currently spread out over 65 schools in Kansas City and New Orleans. A fellow’s school district or CMO must commit to placing the fellow in a role in which he or she leads a team of other teachers to meet the fellow’s standards of excellence; teaches students; and facilitates a teaching team’s collaboration and planning. After intensive training and visits to schools with a record of closing the achievement gap, fellows create yearlong projects that focus on leading other teachers and raising student achievement, designed and implemented by fellows to meet their schools’ needs.