Opportunity Culture Voices: New Series in The 74

March 15, 2017

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

Jimmel Williams, a master reach teacher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, teaches at one of the more than 100 Opportunity Culture schools currently in the U.S.

Jimmel Williams, a math master reach teacher in Charlotte, teaches at one of the 100+ Opportunity Culture schools currently in the U.S.

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.

Keep Reading

Register Now! Free Opportunity Culture Info Sessions

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, July 12, 2023 How can districts and schools use innovative staffing concepts proven to get results for students and educators? Register today for Public Impact’s free 30-minute information session, Opportunity Culture School Design:...