Opportunity Culture

For a Strong Opportunity Culture®, Include Support from the Top

By Margaret High and Sharon Kebschull Barrett, February 11, 2020

Whenever the Public Impact team interviews Opportunity Culture educators, one word comes up again and again: support. With multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) at the core, support flows up and down—up from MCLs serving as an instructional leadership team for their principals, down from MCLs to their teaching teams, and even sideways, with MCLs forming a supportive team for one another.

That schoolwide support becomes even more powerful when backed up by strong, vocal support from a superintendent and central office. Read more…

2019: Opportunity Culture® Continues to Grow, Inspire

By Margaret High, December 20, 2019

Opportunity Culture kept growing in 2019 to bring excellent teaching to students and career opportunities to educators. Our 10 most-read posts in 2019 included educator columns, new districts, the hot topic of the science of reading, teaching residencies, and more. Read more…

Vance County Schools’ Jackson Named N.C. Superintendent of the Year

By Margaret High, November 22, 2019

Congratulations to Vance County Schools Superintendent Anthony Jackson, named the 2020 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year! Jackson, who has led Vance County Schools since 2015, brought Opportunity Culture to the district in 2016–17.

“Dr. Tony Jackson has developed a culture of innovation and excellence at Vance County Schools,” Jack Hoke, executive director of the North Carolina School Superintendent’s Association, said at the awards ceremony Tuesday night.

Advocating Effectively for Opportunity Culture®: The Key Elements

By Margaret High, November 7, 2019

Imagine opening the first all-staff email from a new principal or superintendent that clearly shows a lack of understanding or support for the Opportunity Culture your district has in place. What do you do?

Opportunity Culture Fellows closed the 2019 convening by brainstorming solutions to this scenario in a session on the keys to effective advocacy—one of their most-requested topics.

How Opportunity Culture® Principals Lead Change and Develop Leaders

By Margaret High, November 4, 2019 

Leading change and developing leaders: Opportunity Culture principals must know how to do this for student and teacher success, and Opportunity Culture Fellows are hungry for tips from their colleagues who do it well. At the Opportunity Culture Fellows Convening, a panel of principals highlighted strong hiring and communications as two keys among many to success.

Building Team Cohesion: Opportunity Culture® Fellows Share Strategies

By Margaret High, October 30, 2019 

How can multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) build the cohesion of their teaching teams? A panel of five Opportunity Culture Fellows tackled this question—a hot topic among MCLs­—with suggestions that focused on the joy of team leadership as well as how to address challenges with team members.

“My two things are genuinely caring about the people as individuals and as teachers. …And then really not being a know-it-all,” one panelist said. “I’m not coming into the classroom to make you into me. I’m coming in here to make you a better version of you.”

To Teach Reading Right, Understand the Science of Reading

By Margaret High, October 17, 2019 

As CEO of the Mississippi-based Barksdale Reading Institute, Kelly Butler doesn’t mind saying schools teach literacy all wrong. Condensing the science of reading into a one-hour overview presentation for the Opportunity Culture Fellows Convening, Butler issued a clarion call for educators to to follow the science of reading, focusing on phonics, brain development, the five components of reading, and the simple view of reading. Butler’s efforts to spread the word have helped move Mississippi’s reading growth to the top of state rankings.

Strategies for Personalization: Learner Variability Tool Can Help

By Margaret High, October 9, 2019

Educators know they can’t design their instructional approach for one “average” student—but finding the right resources to make true personalization possible can be a time-consuming struggle. At their 2019 convening, Opportunity Culture Fellows tested one free tool that can help. Digital Promise, an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit, created its Learner Variability Project to translate the growing body of research on learning for educators and parents. Digital Promise created a whole-child framework that feeds into its free tool, the Learner Variability Navigator, which guides users through the factors they need to address for each student and strategies to match.

Opportunity Culture® Columns on Real Clear Education

Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leaders, blended-learning teachers, elementary school subject specialists, and principals are contributing to a monthly series of columns on RealClearEducation.com. These pioneering educators have been critical to refining the Opportunity Culture initiative and materials that support the creation of an Opportunity Culture, aimed at meeting our collective, ambitious goals to reach all students with excellent teaching consistently and provide outstanding career opportunities for teachers, too.