Through the Opportunity Culture initiative, Public Impact is committed to making effective reach extension a core, enduring part of education reform, and to increasing the number, variety, and success of efforts to extend the reach of great teachers and their teams to many more students across the country.
To catalyze and enable implementation, in 2012 Public Impact began identifying, linking, and documenting sites whose leaders are committed to prototyping and scaling successful reach extension initiatives and building an Opportunity Culture. Sites may be districts, states, charter networks/CMOs, or other collections of schools.
- Links identified sites in a national network of organizations, so that you know who else like you is doing this important work
- Documents sites’ work and shares lessons learned on OpportunityCulture.org
- Provides design and implementation assistance through regularly updated materials posted on OpportunityCulture.org
We and our many partner organizations also provide consulting services to help with initial school and job design, community engagement, and changes in human resource systems, finance systems, and technology. Many sites will organize these changes for themselves or with local consultants—visit OpportunityCulture.org often for free, updated tools to help your team.
Implementation sites announced publicly include:
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Project L.I.F.T.: Project L.I.F.T., a zone of schools within a large urban school district seeking dramatic improvements in student learning, became the first implementation site. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools quickly decided to scale up this initiative across the district, to have almost half of the district’s schools implementing by 2017–18. Public Impact has partnered with Education First and Education Resource Strategies in this work.
- Syracuse City School District: New York’s fourth-largest district first implemented Opportunity Culture staffing models in four of its highest-need schools in 2014–15 and quickly expanded to 13 schools planned for 2016–17. Syracuse wants to become the most improved urban district in America. More than three-quarters of Syracuse students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, in a city where 50 percent of children under 18 live in poverty. System leaders know great teachers are the key to changing the odds for these students, and paying them more and letting them lead while teaching is essential to attract and keep them in Syracuse. Public Impact has partnered with Education First in this work.
- Cabarrus County, N.C.: Six high schools, two middle schools, and three elementary schools in Cabarrus County, N.C., have implemented an Opportunity Culture since 2014–15 to extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within budget. The Cabarrus County district, which includes Concord, N.C., has 39 schools and 30,000 students, 43 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Its schools join neighboring Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) in implementing an Opportunity Culture.
- Indianapolis Public Schools: The district, the first in the country to include Opportunity Culture roles in its teacher contract, began implementing Opportunity Culture models in four elementary schools and two secondary schools in 2016–17. Eight additional elementary schools and two more secondary schools are working on the design stage for implementation in the 2017–18 school year.
- Texas Education Agency: The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has made Texas the first state to support multiple districts in creating an Opportunity Culture. The Big Spring Independent School District and Dallas Independent School District began implementation of their new school models in the 2015–16 school year, and Harlandale Independent School District will begin implementing in the 2016–17 school year. Public Impact has partnered with Education First in this work.
- Fulton County Schools, Ga.: A high school and middle school on the south side of the Fulton County school system, which sandwiches the separate school district for the city of Atlanta and serves more than 95,000 students, will be the district’s first to design Opportunity Culture plans for 2016-17 implementation. Both schools are part of Fulton County’s achievement zone, created in 2015 to focus on the traditionally struggling high school and its feeder schools. The zone aims to rapidly improve academic outcomes for its students.
- Maricopa County, Az: Using a $60 million federal TIF grant, Arizona’s Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA) will help at least five small and medium-size Phoenix-area districts and one charter network design and implement Opportunity Culture school models.
- Metro Nashville Public Schools: In 2013-14, three pilot schools in the MNPS Innovation Zone implemented Multi-Classroom Leadership. The “iZone” was created in the summer of 2011 to turn around low-performing schools by engaging in strategic redesign.
- The Opportunity Culture Charter School Network is made up of three charter management organizations building their school designs to extend the reach of excellent teachers and create an Opportunity Culture: Foundations Prep, Ingenuity Prep, and Venture Prep.
To add your district, state, or charter network or schools to this list, please visit our feedback page and tell us your plans for extending the reach of excellent teachers and building an Opportunity Culture in your schools.
To learn more about what we are looking for in sites, see our site selection criteria.
Learn about the first two classes of Opportunity Culture Fellows—multi-classroom leaders and blended-learning teachers selected for their leadership and student achievement from the first Opportunity Culture districts—here.