Schools began using Opportunity Culture models in:
Learn more about the Opportunity Culture initiative in CMS by visiting the district website.
In 2013–14, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Project L.I.F.T. became the first implementation site in Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture initiative. Project L.I.F.T. was an innovation zone in Charlotte created to improve student performance and close the achievement gap in several of Charlotte’s lowest-performing schools. Project L.I.F.T ended in 2019. Learn more about Project L.I.F.T. here.
In January 2014, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) announced that it would scale up the Opportunity Culture initiative across the district, with 17 additional schools implementing the new models in the first year and more schools implementing during each of the following two years. Nearly half of the district’s schools implemented by 2017–18.
When CMS began implementing Opportunity Culture in the 2013–14 school year, the district had 175 schools serving 147,428 students. Of those students, 36 percent were black, 27 percent were white, 27 percent were Hispanic/Latino, and 7 percent were Asian.
- Public Impact Press Release: Public Impact Announces First Implementation Site In Initiative To Extend The Reach of Excellent Teachers To All Students
- Public Impact Press Release: The Belk Foundation Helps Charlotte Design Schools to Pay Teachers More, Extend Great Teachers’ Reach, and Meet Students’ Needs
- Days in the Life: The Work of a Successful Multi-Classroom Leader, an Opportunity Culture vignette that offers a profile of Multi-Classroom Leader Okema Owens Simpson
- Ranson IB Middle School Launches an Opportunity Culture, an Opportunity Culture Case Study
- Ashley Park PreK-8 Launches Multi-Classroom Leadership and Blended Learning, an Opportunity Culture Case Study
In the News:
- Twenty-Six Revamped Teaching Jobs with Higher Pay Attract 708 Applicants, April 2013, by Lisa Worf for WFAE 90.7
Videos from Public Impact
Days in the Life: The Work of a
Follow Ranson MCL Okema Owens Simpson
through several typical days that illustrate the
essentials of the MCL role.
When Teachers Leave Midyear, MCLs Keeps Classes Strong
MCL Molly Whelan and Principal Erica Jordan-Thomas discuss the benefits of the MCL role—especially when midyear turnover leaves a teaching team short.
From Action Plan to Teacher of the Year—in One Year
MCL Stacie Bunn and Kenyatta Davenport, an expanded-impact teacher on Bunn’s team, discuss Davenport’s journey to teaching excellence.
Erin Williams on Being a Multi- Classroom Leader
Erin Williams describes how she uses data to encourage students to track their own growth.
Kristin Cubbage on Being a Multi-Classroom Leader
Kristin Cubbage describes the deep support her role enables her to provide to both teachers and students.
Steven Kennedy on Being a Multi-Classroom Leader
Steven Kennedy describes the support he is able to give new and veteran teachers and how the role has allowed him to stay in education.
Bobby Miles on Being a Multi-Classroom Leader
Multi-classroom leader Bobby Miles explains why his role is “the best of both worlds”.
Erin Burns on Being a Multi-Classroom Leader
Erin Burns describes her role as a multi-classroom leader at West Charlotte High, where she leads a team of biology teachers reaching 500 students.
Amy Sparks on Being a Multi-Classroom Leader
Amy Sparks highlights how even high-achieving schools and students can continue to grow with an Opportunity Culture.
Ranson and Ashley Park Choose an Opportunity Culture
Principals at Ashley Park PreK-8 and Ranson IB Middle in Charlotte tell why they chose to create an Opportunity Culture in their schools.
Recruiting in an Opportunity Culture
District leaders and principals share thoughts on how an Opportunity Culture is attracting teachers to previously hard-to-staff schools.
Combining Multi-Classroom Leadership and Subject Specialization
Danielle Bellar describes her role as a multi-classroom leader, leading a team of three subject-specializing teachers for 75 5th-graders in Charlotte.
Opportunity Culture Roles in CMS
Teachers and principals discuss why they love Opportunity Culture’s team-based teacher roles.
Videos from Other Organizations
A Closer Look at Advanced Teaching Roles in North Carolina
BEST NC video examines how CMS became the first and largest school district to implement Advanced Teaching Roles, using Opportunity Culture models.
West Charlotte Decision Day 2019
After seven years of Project L.I.F.T. and Opportunity Culture, West Charlotte High School students celebrate Decision Day in 2019.
Building Leaders in the Classroom
A video about Project L.I.F.T. and an Opportunity Culture from the 2014 N.C. Emerging Issues Forum.