This column is by Stacie Bunn and was published on EdNC.org, November 9, 2017 Editor’s Note: Stacie Bunn is an Opportunity Culture Fellow. Learn more about the Opportunity Culture initiative here. In 2012, after 15 years of classroom experience and a year as an instructional coach, I became the multi-classroom leader (MCL) for science at […]
After a year of piloting new staffing models that extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, the Syracuse City School District, in partnership with the Syracuse Teachers Association, has expanded its Opportunity Culture initiative in 2015–16 to four more schools. The initiative began in 2014–15 in four of the highest-need schools in Syracuse, which is New York’s fifth-largest school district.
“In the SCSD we are committed to providing leadership pathways for excellent teachers who want to remain in the classroom,” Superintendent Sharon Contreras said. “Opportunity Culture allows us to explore innovative ways for our most experienced and best educators to share their knowledge and expertise with their colleagues.”
See Syracuse’s Opportunity Culture job postings for all its Opportunity Culture schools here. The schools joining the Opportunity Culture initiative in 2015–16 are Franklin Elementary, Huntington K-8, Meachem Elementary, and Lincoln Middle.
Opportunity Culture models use job redesign and age-appropriate technology to reach many more students with excellent teaching, without forcing class-size increases. Opportunity Culture teachers typically work in collaborative teams led by excellent teachers, who provide the collaboration and support that is a hallmark of an Opportunity Culture. Pay supplements for Opportunity Culture positions are funded within regular, recurring budgets, not temporary grants, so that they are financially sustainable.
Public Impact created the core models, with substantial teacher input, and is working in Syracuse with lead schools partner Education First and the Syracuse Teachers Association to help the Syracuse schools implement and evaluate their models. Education First, an education policy and strategy firm, has extensive experience facilitating collaborative change in district schools.