11 States, 150,000 Students: Opportunity Culture Initiative Keeps Growing

Initiative Aims to Reach All Students with Excellent Teaching, All Educators with Excellent, Paid Career Opportunities

June 1, 2023

Contact: Sharon Kebschull Barrett, sharon.barrett@publicimpact.com

CARRBORO, N.C.—Public Impact has released its Opportunity Culture Dashboard update, showing the expansion of the national Opportunity Culture initiative to 11 states and more than 150,000 students and 5,400 teachers. The dashboard annually updates progress of the initiative, which aims to help schools reach all students with excellent teaching, consistently, and all teachers with excellent, paid career opportunities.

To update the dashboard, Public Impact analyzes Opportunity Culture data and educator survey results and uses the results to continue to refine its advising of districts and charter schools on implementing Opportunity Culture innovative staffing models. With the overarching goal of reaching all students with high-growth learning, Public Impact aims to help schools make changes that educators love, with increased career opportunities and support.

As the Opportunity Culture Dashboard shows in its 2022–23 update:

  • 60 sites—nearly all traditional districts—now are part of the Opportunity Culture initiative.
  • Those sites include more than 800 schools that are implementing, designing or committed to launch Opportunity Culture designs; 93 percent of those now in the design or implementation phases are eligible for Title I funding.
  • Nationally, Opportunity Culture sites now reach over 150,000 students with excellent teaching, and they reach over 5,400 teachers with advanced roles or on-the-job support and development on teaching teams.
  • Over 1,600 Opportunity Culture educators earned more:a total of $16.4 million in extra pay in 2022–23 alone, and $57.9 million since Opportunity Culture implementation began. Supplements for teacher-leaders in the Multi-Classroom Leader role averaged 21 percent of average pay.
  • In the annual, anonymous Opportunity Culture survey, educators continue to express strong confidence about Opportunity Culture implementation in their schools. Ninety-seven percent of educators in the Multi-Classroom Leader role and 87 percent of all educators in Opportunity Culture roles said they want these roles to continue in their schools. See the dashboard for more survey results.

In Opportunity Culture sites, each participating school forms a design and implementation team of teachers and administrators that determines how to use Opportunity Culture roles to reach more students with excellent teaching. The design teams reallocate school budgets to permanently fund pay supplements for those in Opportunity Culture roles, in contrast to temporary grant-funded programs. In addition to these supplements, the Opportunity Culture initiative continues to support higher pay for all teachers, where budgets allow.

The Multi-Classroom Leader (MCL) role is the cornerstone role, for a teacher with a track record of high-growth student learning who leads a small teaching team for substantially higher pay. MCLs continue to teach part of the time in some way while leading the team in lesson planning, data analysis, instructional changes and the creation of a tutoring culture. MCLs provide support through regular coaching and feedback, co-teaching and modeling of instruction.

An MCL’s team may include those in Team Reach Teacher roles, for teachers who—critically in a time of teacher shortages —directly teach more students, typically without raising instructional group sizes, for more pay. This avoids filling a portion of teacher vacancies with long-term substitutes. The team gets support and MCL-guided tutoring from advanced paraprofessionals in the Reach Associate role.

Third-party studies have found that, on average, teachers who joined MCL teams moved from producing 50th percentile student learning growth to 77th percentile student learning growth in both reading and math. The gains equate to an extra half-year of learning for students each year, on average.

Among the 60 sites are four districts in Arkansas and New Mexico that will begin implementing their Opportunity Culture designs this fall.

“I am so excited about this initiative and the opportunity to impact teachers, administrators, and most importantly, student achievement. The possibilities with Opportunity Culture implementation are endless!” said Veronica Perkins, superintendent of Blytheville School District in Arkansas.

“I am excited about Opportunity Culture implementation because quality is most important to me. I set out to transform the teaching and learning process here in Osceola. Opportunity Culture staffing is the out-of-the-box thinking that can propel student learning and outcomes. I look forward to seeing the teachers’ work,” said Toriano Green, superintendent of said Osceola School District in Arkansas.

“Opportunity Culture models will offer our students a first-class experience with first-class instruction!!! It aligns with our vision of high levels of learning for all. We are truly appreciative of the support that Public Impact and the Arkansas Department of Education have given to Texarkana School District as we continue to strive for excellence,” said DeMarcus Green, human resources director of Texarkana School District in Arkansas.

“Engaging in a partnership with Public Impact to implement Opportunity Culture roles in our school district has challenged us to think innovatively about ways to recognize and reward our highly skilled teachers, and provide greater opportunities and support for others in the system to grow and positively impact student learning,” said LaVern Shan, deputy superintendent of Carlsbad Municipal Schools in New Mexico.


About Public Impact

Public Impact’s mission is to improve education dramatically for all students, especially low-income students, students of color, and other students whose needs historically have not been well met. We are a team of professionals from many backgrounds, including former teachers. We are researchers, thought leaders, tool-builders, and on-the-ground consultants who work with leading education reformers.

Learn more about the Opportunity Culture initiative on the OpportunityCulture.org website. To arrange an interview with Public Impact, contact Sharon Kebschull Barrett at OpportunityCultureInfo@publicimpact.com.

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