The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has made Texas the first state to support multiple districts in creating an Opportunity Culture, joining a national initiative designed to extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within recurring budgets. The Big Spring Independent School District, an eight-campus district in west Texas, began implementation of their new school models in the 2015–16 school year, Harlandale Independent School District began implementation in the 2016–17 school year, and Spring Branch and Mineral Wells will begin implementing in the 2017–18 school year.
Three Big Spring ISD elementary schools—Goliad, Moss, and Washington—began the Opportunity Culture work in Texas by selecting multi-classroom leaders to lead teams of teachers, which are supported by paraprofessional “reach associates,” at their schools. Each school has a design team of administrators and teachers that chooses and adapts the multi-classroom model and plans implementation details to fit their needs. These schools were joined by one Big Spring ISD middle school, one Harlandale middle school, 12 schools in Spring Branch, and two schools in Mineral Wells.
This work comes in the third year of the TEA’s Creating Turnaround Educator Pipelines (CTEP) project. CTEP is focused on identifying and supporting turnaround efforts across the state. The grant has supported the state’s Education Service Centers (ESCs) in training principals and teacher-leaders at schools identified as low-performing, selected Opportunity Culture districts in redesigning schools with a focus on teacher leadership, and trained ESCs to lead and support more districts and schools in designing and implementing Opportunity Culture. CTEP dollars will support the transition to Opportunity Culture models, but higher teacher pay will be funded within existing school budgets, not by temporary grants.
For more information the Texas Education Agency and Opportunity Culture, read our press release here.
For more information about Spring Branch Independent School District, read their press release here.
For information about applying for an Opportunity Culture position in Spring Branch Independent School District, click here.
For information about applying for an Opportunity Culture position in Big Spring Independent School District, click here.