Restart redux? Guilford leaders taking patient approach to low-performing schools

From Greensboro News & Record, by Jessie Pounds, May 26, 2023

Improving academic performance is one of the classic, and toughest, challenges in education. 

In North Carolina, one way for schools to do that is by applying for something called “restart status.” Under the restart model, schools with low performance on state tests and a plan to improve can apply to receive flexibilities similar to ones received by charter schools — such as calendar, class size, staffing and how money is spent. …

The biggest thing they are trying to evaluate is how well a strategy called “Opportunity Culture®” is working in improving academic performance at the restart schools. By paying extra to recruit effective teachers to lead and coach their peers, or take on additional students, the schools think they can make progress on recruiting and retaining great educators in the face of what they say is a shortage of experienced instructors.

The charter-like flexibility for staffing offered by the restart school model can free up some money for the positions, and to target specific grades and subject areas. 

The idea for Opportunity Culture® came from Public Impact®, a Chapel-Hill based company whose leaders designed and created the strategy in 2009. The cornerstone of that strategy, and the part that Oakley thinks is likely doing the most good, is the multi-classroom leader position.

Read the full article here.

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