Published in The Hechinger Report, November 29, 2018 by Tara Garcia Mathewson
Edgecombe County Public Schools in rural North Carolina has long had trouble filling all of its open teaching positions. Historically, there just hasn’t been enough interest among qualified candidates. But that’s changing.
Edgecombe is still a rural district with a high-poverty student body, but a new staffing model has made its schools newly desirable for teachers who want to be school leaders without leaving the classroom. The model stems from an idea laid out in a paper almost a decade ago by Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan Hassel, co-presidents of Public Impact, an education advocacy organization. That idea is simple: Students chalk up three times the learning gains in classrooms with the most effective teachers (those in the top quintile), so if it’s not possible to hire only the most effective teachers, why not expand those teachers’ reach?
The first schools to implement what Public Impact calls an “Opportunity Culture,” did so during the 2013-14 school year, and Edgecombe County Public Schools is set to become the first district to bring the model systemwide. Read the full article…