By Public Impact, May 13, 2021
- 510+ schools committed to Opportunity Culture
- 3,400+ teachers with advanced roles or on-the-job development
- 83,000+ students reached by excellent teachers extending their reach
- $9.2 million in extra pay for teachers in 2020–21; $29.9 million since Opportunity Culture began
- 49 Opportunity Culture sites in 10 states—and growing
- Strong educator support: 98% of surveyed multi-classroom leaders & 90% of all staff on multi-classroom leader teams want Opportunity Culture to continue in their schools
In 2020–21, Opportunity Culture roles continued to provide a model of support that kept spreading, even in an exceptionally challenging year for educators, students, and families.
As the Opportunity Culture Dashboard shows in its 2020–21 update, 13 more districts joined the Opportunity Culture initiative, founded and led by Public Impact. Nationally, Opportunity Culture sites now reach over 83,000 students with excellent teaching and over 3,400 teachers with advanced roles or on-the-job support and development on teaching teams.
For extending their reach through Opportunity Culture roles, over 900 teachers earned more: a total of $9.2 million in extra pay in 2020–21 alone.
Despite Covid’s challenges, Opportunity Culture educators continue to express strong confidence in Opportunity Culture. In surveys, large majorities agree that the supports provided translate into improved instructional practice, that Opportunity Culture has a positive impact on staff collaboration, and that it has improved teacher effectiveness in their schools.
“It’s been inspiring for our team to work with districts that were so engaged and enthusiastic about planning their Opportunity Culture implementation even in the midst of a pandemic,” said Lucy Steiner, Public Impact’s senior vice president for educator excellence and implementation services.
“As we look ahead to next year, the ongoing growth of Opportunity Culture means many more educators will join in professional learning sessions this summer to prepare for their new roles, with the chance to learn from great educators already in those roles,” said Vice President Alison Harris Welcher, who leads professional learning for Opportunity Culture educators at Public Impact.
2020–21 marked the seventh year of schools implementing Opportunity Culture models; each year, Public Impact analyzes the dashboard data to improve its materials and its work with schools and districts. With the overarching goal of reaching all students with high-growth learning, Public Impact has expanded the initiative’s participating schools by 50 percent each year, on average—helping schools and districts make changes that educators love, with increased career opportunities and support.
Schools: 280 schools are implementing Opportunity Culture, up from seven schools when the initiative began in 2013–14; 142 more schools are planning for implementation in 2021–22. States and districts have committed to launch Opportunity Culture in 96 other schools in the next few years. More school districts and public charter networks continue to join the initiative throughout each year.
Sites: Ten states now have a total of 49 Opportunity Culture sites. Sites include school districts and charter networks, and range from districts with just a few schools to the nation’s third-largest school district.
Students: More than 83,000 students were reached in 2020–21 by one or more Opportunity Culture teachers. Nothing matters more for students than getting excellent teaching consistently: Excellent teachers help students learn more, and when they serve as multi-classroom leaders, they help other teachers produce higher-growth student learning, too. Research also says that teachers producing high growth develop students’ higher-order thinking skills.
Teaching Roles: 2020–21 saw 936 teachers earning more for extending their reach and 2,526 teachers receiving on-the-job development on teacher-led teams. Some Opportunity Culture roles, including multi-classroom leader, master team reach teacher, and—in some districts—team reach teacher, are reserved for teachers with a track record of high-growth student learning. Other roles include advanced paraprofessionals called reach associates and teacher residents. All schools designing Opportunity Culture implementation plans since 2018 use Multi-Classroom Leadership, embedding other roles within multi-classroom leaders’ small teams. Learn more about Multi-Classroom Leadership here.
Teachers: In anonymous surveys conducted this spring, 98 percent of multi-classroom leaders and 90 percent of all staff on multi-classroom leader teams said they want Opportunity Culture to continue in their schools. See the dashboard for more survey results.
Pay: $9.2 million was reallocated to higher teacher pay in 2020–21; since Opportunity Culture began in 2013, $29.9 million has been reallocated to higher pay. Pay supplements for multi-classroom leaders are as high as $20,000, with an average of $11,893, or 21 percent of the average teacher salary in Opportunity Culture states. Opportunity Culture supplements for all teaching and leadership roles ranged from $2,250 to $20,000. At each school, a design team that includes teachers makes decisions about how to implement Opportunity Culture, including budget reallocation decisions.
Student Results: A 2018 study from the American Institutes of Research and the Brookings Institution showed that students in classrooms of team teachers led by multi-classroom leaders, or MCLs, showed sizeable academic gains. The team teachers in the study were, on average, at the 50th percentile in the student learning gains they produced before joining a team led by an MCL. After joining the teams, they produced learning gains equivalent to those of teachers in the top quartile in math and nearly that in reading. More recent data gathered by Public Impact show that by the fourth year of implementation, as MCLs reach more students, Opportunity Culture schools’ odds of high growth are more than 50 percent higher than schools without MCLs. Additionally, by the fourth year of implementation, the odds of high growth are double that of Opportunity Culture schools in their first year of implementation. See the dashboard…