Learn more about Opportunity Culture 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.
From Public Impact
- 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 Media
- Twenty-Six Revamped Teaching Jobs with Higher Pay Attract 708 Applicants, April 2013, by Lisa Worf for WFAE 90.7
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.
Days in the Life: The Work of a Successful Multi-Classroom Leader
Follow Ranson MCL Okema Owens Simpson through several typical days that illustrate the essentials of the MCL role.
Opportunity Culture Roles in CMS
Teachers and principals discuss why they love Opportunity Culture's team-based teacher roles.
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.
Amy Sparks on Being a Multi-Classroom Leader
Amy Sparks highlights how even high-achievingschools and students can continue to grow with an Opportunity Culture.
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 an MCL at West Charlotte High, where she leads a team of biology teachers reaching 500 students.
Multi-Classroom Leadership and Subject Specialization
Danielle Bellar describes her role as an MCL, leading a team of three subject-specializing teachers for 75 5th-graders.
Ranson and Ashley Park Choose an Opportunity Culture
Principals at Ashley Park PreK-8 and Ranson IB Middle explain 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.
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.