Quick Stats from the Opportunity Culture Dashboard, updated for 2017-18:
Students in classrooms of team teachers led by “multi-classroom leaders” showed sizeable academic gains, according to a new study from the American Institutes for Research and the Brookings Institution.
The team teachers were, on average, at the 50th percentile in the student learning gains they produced before joining a team led by a multi-classroom leader. After joining the teams, they produced learning gains equivalent to those of teachers in the top quartile in math and nearly that in reading, said the report, released on January 11, 2018, through the CALDER Center.
The gains the study attributes to team teachers are equivalent to those of teachers from the 75th to 85th percentile in math, and, in six of the seven statistical models, from 66th to 72nd percentile in reading.
These results show that students can consistently experience top-quartile teaching in math, and teaching nearly that good in reading, if schools place excellent teachers in charge of small teams of typical teachers.
What does Beyoncé have to do with great teachers? Ranson IB Middle School Principal Erica Jordan-Thomas wants you to know:
“There are Beyoncé educators in every single school building dropping number 1 albums year after year in the form of mind-blowing results with their kids.”
But, Jordan-Thomas says in her just-posted Fall 2017 TEDx talk, those Beyoncé educators are being held back by the traditional one-teacher, one-classroom setup in most schools. And there just aren’t enough Beyoncé educators to fill every U.S. classroom.
A decade ago, inspired by the best teachers we’ve known, we formed the seed of an idea — the notion that great teachers, those who induce high-growth learning and strong student thinking skills, could and should have far more power to lead instruction, help colleagues succeed, and innovate to reach more students. For a lot more pay.
Why? Because without high-growth learning consistently, students who start behind stay behind. Yet far too few teachers teach at that level consistently. And without pay to match more demanding expectations, these great teachers will keep leaving classrooms for administration and other professions.
When we finally published the idea in 2009, with more details in 2010, education leaders’ responses ranged from a head-scratching “What is this?” to “Here are the reasons this can’t work….” Only a few got it right away.
But when our team began working with schools in 2012, the odds flipped: Nearly every teacher understood immediately. Pioneering teachers in what became the “Opportunity Culture” initiative took these seeds and grew them into results.
–Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel, in Teachers in an Opportunity Culture: Well-Paid, Powerful, and Accountable
Today, Public Impact Co-Directors Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel bring the Opportunity Culture series to The 74, whose motto is 74 Million Kids. 74 Million Reasons to Talk Education. Columns for The 74 will come from Opportunity Culture educators eager to share what their jobs are like, the differences they make for students, and the lessons they’ve learned as they extend the reach of their great teaching to many more students.
“We and these great teachers are grateful for the chance to share — because we’re all tired of reading columns about what should be done in education, when we know that something amazing is already happening. In the columns to follow, teachers will tell you how they’re getting to “amazing” in this financially sustainable, scalable, teacher-loving initiative designed to help all students excel,” the Hassels write. Read the full column at The 74.
Curious about the impact of an Opportunity Culture? We’ve just updated our dashboard, as we will every year, with the latest statistics. Such as:
- 110+ schools at 17 sites in 7 states—and growing
- 34,000+ students taught by teachers extending their reach—a 50 percent increase from 2015–16
- 1,250+ teachers with advanced roles or on-the-job development—a 50 percent increase, too
- Average pay supplements over $12,000, up more than $1,300 in one year
- $3.1 million in extra pay for teachers via supplements funded sustainably through reallocation
- Just 8.2% of applicants for Opportunity Culture advanced positions were hired
- High growth for 46 percent of Opportunity Culture schools—a much higher percentage than among typical schools
- Far fewer schools than typical made low growth (12%)