In the Media

CMS joins national Opportunity Culture® educational initiative

From The Sentinel-Record, May 22, 2022

Cutter Morning Star School District is implementing Opportunity Culture models in its elementary school this fall as part of the Arkansas Department of Education’s statewide initiative to reach all students with quality, more-personalized teaching.

Superintendent Nancy Anderson said the district was approached by the department during the first year of its rollout and she visited the North Little Rock School District, which was one of the first schools to implement the program.

Multi-classroom leaders find unique niche

From OA Online, May 22, 2022

Interested in making a larger impact, Karen Vicory at Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School and Sydney Garcia at Pease Elementary made the leap from classroom teachers to multi-classroom leaders. The position, through Opportunity Culture, gives them a chance to teach in the classroom and mentor their peers.

Ector County ISD Executive Director for Talent Development Ashley Osborne said the district has 49 MCLs at 17 elementary, middle and high school campuses. Campuses perform a redesign of their Opportunity Culture plan every year where they can determine the structure of Opportunity Culture based on campus need, data and context. “Next year, we are looking to add around 20 additional MCLs. Additionally, we will have 20 campuses utilizing the Opportunity Culture model,” Osborne said in an email.

Uplift Education Joins National Initiative, Opportunity Culture®, to Reach Students with Excellent Teaching

From Accesswire, April 14, 2022

DALLAS, Texas—Uplift Education is thrilled to announce that they have joined the growing, national Opportunity Culture movement to reach all students with excellent teaching, to help students meet their academic goals and leap ahead. Uplift has partnered with Tarleton State University, Public Impact, and US PREP to design and implement innovative roles that provide powerful support for all educators in a select group of Tarrant County schools. Funding for the initial design planning and implementation is provided in part by grants from the Fort Worth Education Partnership and Sid W. Richardson Foundation. Read More…

Muri: ECISD making progress

From Odessa American Online, March 20, 2022, by Ruth Campbell

While Ector County ISD may not be at the level it would like, Superintendent Scott Muri says good things are happening in the district.

In his State of the District address earlier in March, Muri said kindergarten readiness has increased by 13 percentage points, SAT scores were above the state level and there was a 7 percent increase this year over last in college, career and military readiness. This is a factor in state accountability standards.

He noted that the 84.7 percent graduation rate is the highest in 20 years. Read More…

Equitable access to effective educators emerges as priority for North Carolina

From EdNC, March 16, 2022 by Mebane Rash

“Students in high-poverty schools are about half as likely to have access to highly effective teachers, compared to students in low-poverty schools,” said Johanna Anderson, executive director of The Belk Foundation, at a recent convening of their board of directors and education stakeholders.

This is not a new data point, but strategies are emerging to address it given vacancies in local labor markets for those working in schools and districts, and an initiative to redesign teacher licensure, support, advancement, and pay structures in North Carolina. Read More…

ECISD Superintendent discusses teacher shortages

From News West 9, March 11, 2022, by Francisco Soto

ODESSA, Texas — Shortages is something we are hearing about too often these days, and it’s not just food.

On Thursday, the Texas Education Agency announced the creation of the Teacher Vacancy Task Force. The goal is to help address staffing challenges facing Texas public schools.

NewsWest 9 spoke to Scott Muri, Superintendent for Ector County Independent School District. He said the area has been struggling with teacher shortages for several years even before the state started experiencing the same thing. Read more…

Losing our teachers: High turnover, shortages, burnout are a problem for our schools and children

From Northern Kentucky Tribune, February 21, 2022, by Jan Hillard

Every year our schools face the persistent problem of teachers deciding not to return to their schools. Over half a million teachers leave or change schools each year. Schools that serve lower income students often see turnover rates that are 50% greater than other schools. In addition, non-retention rates are 70% greater for math and science teachers.

High turnover rates present significant costs for schools. Nationally, the problem of teacher non-retention costs upwards of $8.5 billion each year. The Learning Policy Institute estimates that teacher turnover costs school districts $20-30,000 for every teacher who leaves the district. Non-retention, coupled with the cost of new recruitment, can total 150% of a departing teacher’s salary.
Read more…

The Great Resignation Hasn’t Hit School Teachers Yet. Here’s Why It Still Might

From CNET, February 14, 2022 by Antonio Ruiz Camacho

The pandemic may be the last straw for a profession mired in stagnant pay, compounding demands and endemic burnout. The situation has some asking if the field of teaching needs a reset.

It took just a simple question for Andria Nelson to grasp how different the world of education was from everything else. Nelson had quit her teaching job just months into the 2020-21 school year and taken a job as a communications specialist for a transportation company. Her innocent request—seeking someone to cover for her so she could go to the bathroom—raised some amused eyebrows around the office. Read more…

A Culture of Opportunity

From Odessa Living Magazine, Winter 2021, by Avery Pullin

When Dr. Scott Muri was hired by Ector County ISD, it wasn’t just his knowledge of student learning he brought with him. He also knew how to develop teachers. One vital tool he implemented at ECISD was a new initiative: Opportunity Culture.

Though grants were given to kickstart Opportunity Culture, it is now a fully sustainable, self-funded program that allows the district to utilize their best teachers to train other teachers on their team. These teachers, known as multi-classroom leaders (MCLs), go through a rigorous interview process both with the district and with campus administration. They must show their knowledge of teaching students, coaching colleagues, and analyzing data. Read more…

Trends Shaping Education in 2022

From Getting Smart, January 11, 2022, by Tom Vander Ark

It’s hard to see trends in a crisis. And now layered crises–pandemic, climate, racial reckoning, economic inequity, geopolitical tension–is the new normal. We’re living through a jumble of unexpected events that thwart pattern recognition. Most schools are starting 2022 in person but with a disappointing COVID surge and renewed questions about how to best safeguard students, teachers, and communities. After two years of pandemic education, fatigue is the overwhelming experience of many educators. Read more…