Extending the Reach

Projected Statewide Impact of “Opportunity Culture” School Models

This brief estimates the impact of a statewide implementation of Opportunity Culture models, using North Carolina as an example. Impacts estimated include student learning outcomes, gross state product, teacher pay and other career characteristics, and state income tax revenue. Opportunity Culture models extend the reach of excellent teachers to more students, for more pay, within budget—typically in collaborative teams on which all teachers can pursue instructional excellence together and are formally accountable for the students they serve.   

The Metlife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success

This report examines how educators working together can improve student outcomes. Through surveys of teachers and principals, this report examines the views of teachers, teacher leaders, and students on what collaboration looks like in schools and the impact it can have. It also assesses the importance of building time into the school schedule to accommodate collaboration among in-school educators. 

Spending Money Wisely: Getting the Most from School District Budgets

Produced by the District Management Journal, this series of 10 briefs summarizes 10 key opportunities for districts to realign resources and free up funds for other district priorities. This “Top 10” list takes into account both theory and practice, using real-life lessons from districts that implemented similar initiatives. Briefs cover topics including professional development for teachers, extending the reach of effective teachers, and scheduling services equitably using data.

Right-Sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of Great Teachers

This working paper—produced by the CALDER Center—examines whether it is possible to improve student achievement by reallocating pupils among teachers so that the most effective teachers teach a greater number of students. The paper shows that student outcomes in mathematics, reading, and science improved in both the fifth-grade and eighth-grade North Carolina classrooms examined in this research study.

Charlotte, N.C.’s Project L.I.F.T: New Teaching Roles Create Culture of Excellence in High-Need Schools

Public Impact’s case study on Opportunity Culture highlights the “truly different” things Project L.I.F.T. did to redesign 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.

Leading Educators Case Study: Empowering Teacher-Leaders to Extend Their Reach by Leading Teams

This Public Impact case study is part of a series that offers an in-depth look at districts, charter schools, and other programs that have started using Opportunity Culture models (those that extend the reach of excellent teachers for more pay, within budget), or have experimented with similar strategies for expanding the impact of excellent teachers on students and peer teachers.

A New Civil Right: Reaching All Students With Excellent Teaching

This Opportunity Culture webpage, created by Public Impact, provides scenarios and materials for use by district administrators (as an exercise in rethinking the standard school set-up) and professors in business, public policy, education schools, or teacher or leader preparation programs (as resources that can be used in their classrooms). Scenario planners assume the role of a school principal who must develop a plan to give all students access to excellent teachers. The principal has no access to additional funding and can only use excellent teachers who already work at the school.

Redesigning Schools: Financial Planning for Secondary-Level Time-Technology Swap and Multi-Classroom Leadership

This brief—written and published by Public Impact—analyzes two secondary-level, blended learning models developed under their Opportunity Culture initiative: the “Time-Technology Swap” school model, and the “Time-Technology Swap” model in combination with the Multi-Classroom Leadership model. Public Impact calculated the savings and costs of these models to demonstrate how schools could increase teachers’ pay without increasing class sizes and or exceeding their budgets.

Transfer Incentives for High-Performing Teachers: Final Results From a Multisite Randomized Experiment

This research study, published by the U.S. Department of Education and Mathematica Policy Research, analyzes the effect of providing high-performing teachers selective transfer incentives to move to a struggling school. In particular, it analyzes the Talent Transfer Initiative experiment, which was implemented in 10 school districts in seven states. The study found that the transfer incentive successfully attracted high-performing teachers and had a positive impact on teacher-retention rates during the payout period.

Right-Sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of Great Teachers

This report, published by the Fordham Institute, studies data from North Carolina to determine how “right-sizing” a classroom—i.e., giving the most effective teachers the most students—could affect academic achievement. The report finds that when the best teachers teach larger classes and the weakest teachers teach progressively smaller classes, student learning improves (across all students, not just those who move class). 

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