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.
Our series of case studies provides in-depth looks at our first sites implementing the Opportunity Culture initiative, as well as how other 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 describe new programs, including personal descriptions of teachers involved. We 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.
The series has just begun—check back often for more case studies.
We are also on the lookout for online and offline discussions in which the Opportunity Culture Principles could bolster dialogue among teachers, administrators, policymakers, and thought leaders about promising strategies for dramatically improving student learning.
If you are aware of organizations, sites, or discussions we should consider for case studies, please contact us.
- Metropolitan Nashville’s Innovation Zone: High-Need Schools Help Teacher-Leaders with Paid, Yearlong Student Teachers looks at how three Nashville Opportunity Culture schools added a twist to their use of Multi-Classroom Leadership, with student teaching positions that place “aspiring teachers” in one school, usually serving the same class for a year, and pay them more than $15,000 with benefits.
- In companion case studies Charlotte, N.C.’s Project L.I.F.T.: New Teaching Roles Create Culture of Excellence in High-Need Schools and Charlotte N.C.’s Project L.I.F.T.: One Teacher’s View of Becoming a Paid Teacher-Leader, we explain how Project L.I.F.T. did the “truly different” things that its executive director, Denise Watts, knew her schools needed, by redesigning 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 accompanying study offers a Q&A with an excellent teacher on one design team, now set to take on one of the redesigned jobs as a multi-classroom leader.
- In 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.
- In Touchstone Education: New Charter With Experienced Leader Learns From Extending Teachers’ Reach, we take a first look at a small first-year school within a charter school organization that has big plans for growth, and see how it combined Multi-Classroom Leadership and a Time-Technology Swap for strong reading results.
Rocketship Education: Pioneering Charter Network Innovates Again, Bringing Tech Closer to Teachers 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 learning.