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. In January 2014, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced that it is scaling up this initiative across the district, with almost half of the district’s schools implementing by 2017–18.
- Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Innovation Zone, created in the summer of 2011 to turn around low-performing schools by engaging in strategic redesign.
- Syracuse City School District: Four of the highest-need schools in New York’s fifth-largest district are using teacher-led teams to design new staffing models for their struggling schools to use in fall 2014. 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 more than 44 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.
- Cabarrus County, N.C.: Three elementary schools and seven high schools in Cabarrus County, N.C., will pilot new staffing models in 2014–15 to extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within budget. In total, the new staffing models will affect approximately 1,000 students in the first year of implementation alone. 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 began working in spring 2015 to lay the groundwork by June 2015 for up to six schools to opt into piloting “Opportunity Culture” staffing models
- Texas Education Agency: Texas is the first state to encourage districts statewide to give their teachers and students an Opportunity Culture, with leadership by the Texas Education Agency. Big Spring is the first district to announce its participation.
- The Opportunity Culture Charter School Network, initially 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.