Publications - Redesigning Schools

Technology and Rural Education

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Full Report [pdf] Technology holds great potential for rural schools, such as extending the reach of excellent teachers and expanding course offerings. But digital devices in a pre-digital school structure will not transform K-12. This paper, written for the Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho, offers policymakers and philanthropic leaders a set of recommendations to capitalize on the potential of technology to serve students: expand broadband access to schools lacking it, … [Read more...]

Ashley Park PreK-8 Case Study

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Ashley Park PreK-8 Launches Multi-Classroom Leadership and Blended Learning Case Study [pdf] | Video As a turnaround effort began to show results at Charlotte’s Ashley Part PreK-8, improvements in language arts achievement lagged. This Public Impact case study looks at why Ashley Park chose to implement an Opportunity Culture to address this, by using Multi-Classroom Leadership and blended learning through a Time-Technology Swap, and how the early days of implementation helped the … [Read more...]

Ranson IB Middle School Case Study

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Ranson IB Middle School Launches an Opportunity Culture Case Study [pdf] | Video Ranson IB Middle School in Charlotte, a high-poverty school struggling to improve academic achievement and teacher retention, turned to an Opportunity Culture to address its need for excellent teachers. This case study looks at the early days of Ranson’s implementation of two Opportunity Culture job models—Multi-Classroom Leadership and Time-Technology Swaps—and how an Opportunity Culture improved its … [Read more...]

An Opportunity Culture for Teaching and Learning

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Introduction Introduction [pdf] To understand an Opportunity Culture, start here: For excellent teachers and those aspiring to excellence, and for administrative or education policy leaders, this brief provides an overview of how an Opportunity Culture can help teachers have the well-paid, empowered profession they deserve—while helping many more students succeed.     … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Nashville’s Innovation Zone Case Study

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High-Need Schools Help Teacher-Leaders With Paid, Yearlong Student Teachers Case Study [pdf] Better-prepared new teachers, more adults in every classroom, more small-group instruction, more adults caring for every student—how can a school wrap all that up in one package? Three Metropolitan Nashville Opportunity Culture schools are trying a novel approach with paid, yearlong student teaching positions. In this case study, Public Impact examines this “aspiring teachers” program and … [Read more...]

Reaching All Students with Excellent STEM Teachers

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Education Leaders' Brief Brief [pdf] | Slide Deck [pdf] In the U.S., STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—face urgent needs for great STEM teachers and well-educated students. An Opportunity Culture can help by extending the reach of excellent STEM teachers already in our schools and creating a teaching profession that attracts and retains these teachers through higher pay, within regular budgets, and multiple advancement opportunities. The Education … [Read more...]

Teacher Pay and Career Paths in an Opportunity Culture

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A Practical Policy Guide Full Guide [pdf] | Summary [pdf] To help all students reach their potential, district leaders must ensure that every student has consistent access to excellent teaching. Opportunity Culture compensation and career path structures help make that possible, and this guide shows how. Teacher Pay and Career Paths in an Opportunity Culture: A Practical Policy Guide shows how districts can design teacher career paths that will keep excellent teachers in the … [Read more...]

Projected Statewide Impact of “Opportunity Culture” School Models

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Policy Brief Download Policy Brief [pdf] This brief estimates the impact of a statewide implementation of Opportunity Culture models, using North Carolina as an example. Impacts estimated include student learning outcomes, gross state product, teacher pay, and other career characteristics, and state income tax revenue. Estimates indicate the potential for a statewide transition to Opportunity Culture models to provide a brighter future for students, teachers, and the state’s … [Read more...]

A New Civil Right

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Reaching All Students with Excellent Teaching Scenario Introduction Scenario 1: Urban, High-Poverty Elementary School Scenario 2: Urban, High-Poverty High School Scenario 3: Rural, High-Poverty Elementary School Scenario 4: Remote Area of a Developing Country Supplemental Scenario: Urban, High-Poverty Middle School District administrators can use these materials as an exercise in rethinking the standard school set-up, and professors in business, public policy, or education … [Read more...]

An Opportunity Culture for All

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Making Teaching a Highly Paid, High-Impact Profession Download Full Report[pdf] Download Summary [pdf] In this brief, Public Impact Co-Directors Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel update their vision of an Opportunity Culture. The brief explains how extending the reach of great teachers can start a virtuous cycle of excellence and higher pay for all teachers.     … [Read more...]

Rocketship Education Case Study

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Pioneering Charter Network Innovates Again, Bringing Tech Closer to Teachers Case Study [pdf] This case study details how Rocketship, a pioneering, rapidly expanding charter school network, planned to refine its blended-learning model in the 2013–14 year. It intended to give teachers more control over the students’ digital learning and hoped to further individualize the teaching. Watch for future updates to see how these changes do and don’t achieve the network’s goals for student … [Read more...]

Touchstone Education Case Study

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New Charter With Experienced Leader Learns From Extending Teachers’ Reach Case Study [pdf] This is one in a series of case studies looking 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 Touchstone Education: New Charter With Experienced Leader Learns From Extending Teachers’ Reach, we take a first look at a small first-year school … [Read more...]

Charlotte, N.C.’s Project L.I.F.T.

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New Teaching Roles Create Culture of Excellence in High-Need Schools Case Study [pdf]  | Q&A [pdf] Public Impact’s second Opportunity Culture case study explains the “truly different” things that Project L.I.F.T. did to redesign four schools using Opportunity Culture models and principles. The study details the steps these schools took and the challenges they faced as they prepared to kick off their Opportunity Culture models at the beginning of the 2013–14 school year. The … [Read more...]

Leading Educators Case Study

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Empowering Teacher-Leaders to Extend Their Reach by Leading Teams Case Study [pdf] This is the first in a series of case studies offering 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. This study profiles Anna Lavely of Kansas, who participates in Leading Educators’ two-year fellowship aimed at developing the leadership of … [Read more...]

Infographic: Extending the Reach of Excellent Teachers


Why does every child need consistent access to excellent teachers, and how can we, today, extend the reach of the excellent teachers our nation already has? Public Impact teamed up with designers at Column Five to develop this infographic with the answers. It illustrates four ways school can use job redesign and technology to put excellent teachers in charge of every student’s learning. It also highlights the role of extending these teachers’ reach in building an “Opportunity Culture” … [Read more...]

3X for All


Extending the Reach of Education's Best Full Report [pdf] Instead of just trying to recruit more great teachers, what if we could reach dramatically more children with the great teachers we already have? This report explores ways we could redesign teachers’ roles and use technology to give millions more students access to the best teachers. Written with support from The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. Teacher effectiveness has the largest impact of school effects … [Read more...]

Career Paths That Respect Teachers

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More Pay & Time to Collaborate, Lead, Reach More Students Read Two-Page Report [pdf] Teachers: If you are an excellent teacher or one who aspires to excellence, this two-page report explains how schools can use redesigned jobs and career paths to help you stay enthusiastic about teaching, reach more students, and lead your peers, for more pay. With input from teachers and other experts, Public Impact has published numerous school models that offer different possibilities for … [Read more...]

Teacher Pay & Career Advancement

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A Leader's Guide to Sustainably Funded Excellence Teacher Pay & Career Advancement [pdf] As new evaluation systems begin to enable school and district leaders to identify their excellent teachers, states and school systems are looking ahead to the next step and asking: Now that we know who our great teachers are, how can we give them the opportunity to take on new roles and advance in their careers? How can we pay them more? How can we do this sustainably? And how can we design … [Read more...]

Financial Planning Summary

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Pay Teachers More: Financial Planning for Reach Models  Financial Planning Summary  Financial Planning for Elementary Subject Specialization  Financial Planning for Multi-Classroom Leadership  Financial Planning for Time-Technology Swap—Rotation  Financial Planning for Secondary-Level Time-Technology Swap + Multi-Classroom Leadership The financial planning summary provides an overview of the ways that schools and their teachers can simultaneously reach more students with … [Read more...]

Model Summaries

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Redesigning Schools: Models to Reach Every Student With Excellent Teachers Model Summaries [pdf] In the schoolhouse, nothing matters more to students’ learning than their teachers. But only about one of every four U.S. classrooms has an “excellent teacher”—one who produces enough learning progress to close achievement gaps quickly and help all students leap ahead to higher-order learning. What can schools do, now, to reach many more students with excellent teachers year after year … [Read more...]

Teachers in the Age of Digital Instruction

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In Fordham’s new book Education Reform for the Digital Era, Bryan C. Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel’s opening chapter proposes that “digital education needs excellent teachers and that a first-rate teaching profession needs digital education.” In the digital future, teacher effectiveness will matter even more than it does today. While the roles of teachers and other adults will change dramatically, what will increasingly differentiate outcomes for schools, states, and nations is how … [Read more...]

Improving Conditions & Careers

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How Blended Learning Can Improve the Teaching Profession Full Report [pdf] | Executive Summary [pdf] "Technology does not replace a teacher, but rather it empowers teachers and enhances their work." This white paper, written in collaboration with Getting Smart and Digital Learning Now!, is the seventh installment of the DLN Smart Series. The paper, executive summary, and accompanying infographic explain how blended learning can help create better teaching conditions and expanded … [Read more...]

Shooting for Stars


Cross-Sector Lessons for Retaining High-Performing Educators Full Report [pdf] What can we learn from other sectors about teacher retention? How to keep our nation’s best. Education actually has lower turnover rates than most other professions. Our real shortcoming has been the failure to retain more high performers. This report, written with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, identifies four common strategies employed by other sectors to disproportionately … [Read more...]

Teacher Tenure Reform


Applying Lessons from the Civil Service and Higher Education Full Report [pdf] | Presentation [pdf] Could redesigned K-12 teacher tenure actually improve student learning? Could it help to grow the size and power of an elite teaching corps that reaches far more children? This paper examines lessons from higher education and the civil service and applies fresh thinking to offer new “elite” and “inclusive” tenure designs and a framework for policymakers who want to make tenure … [Read more...]

Leaping Forward Without Holding Schools Back


In this collection of essays, Education Sector asked commentators to address a set of dilemmas facing the nation in the current reform moment. Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel tackled one: Will the Common Core and new teacher evaluation systems strangle innovation? These reforms, they argue, would have been perfectly timed for 1962, with 50 years ahead of seat time-based grade levels and a one-teacher-one-classroom staffing model. But what about now, when the combination of new … [Read more...]

Beyond Classroom Walls: Developing Innovative Work Roles for Teachers


Full Report [pdf] The job of “teacher” in most schools today remains centered on full-time classroom responsibilities that are defined by the location, timing, and schedule of the school day and a one-teacher-per-classroom model. But particularly in today’s budget climate, interest in quality-focused job redesigns is increasing among forward-thinking state, district, and charter school leaders. In this report, prepared by Julie Kowal and Dana Brinson for the Center for American … [Read more...]