Midland Independent School District

Schools began using Opportunity Culture® models in:


Learn more about the Opportunity Culture® initiative in Midland ISD by visiting the district website.


In 2019, Midland ISD designed their Opportunity Culture® plans for implementation in fall 2020 in eight schools. Midland ISD, along with Ector County ISD, designed Opportunity Culture® with paid teacher residencies in partnership with the University of Texas Permian Basin (UT Permian Basin).

Both Ector County and Midland ISDs have struggled with an extreme teacher shortage. Combined, the districts began the 2019 school year with 500 teacher vacancies. Their Opportunity Culture® design is a model for districts and education preparation providers nationwide to strengthen teacher pipelines collaboratively through paid teacher residencies.

UT Permian Basin and its partner schools are members in the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP). As a member in US PREP, UT Permian Basin is spending three years piloting, scaling, and sustaining the Teacher Preparation Quality Objectives, which will result in the training of teachers who are ready to meet the needs of their K–12 students. Taken together with the Opportunity Culture® model, candidates receive compensation during their residency year.

UT Permian Basin is a key partner in the districts’ Opportunity Culture® design work and is committed to creating a strong teacher pipeline through residencies.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided a grant to support training for the school districts and their university partner to design and implement the Opportunity Culture® model. Funding from the Gates Foundation is not used to pay supplements for multi-classroom leaders or other Opportunity Culture® roles, but for planning and associated professional development.

Midland Demographics

When Midland ISD began designing its Opportunity Culture® in 2019, the district had 40 schools serving 26,000 students. Of those students, 64 percent were Hispanic, 24 percent were white, 8 percent African American, and 45 percent were economically disadvantaged.

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Opportunity Culture® Teacher Residencies

Ector County and Midland school districts are two of the 11 Texas sites using Opportunity Culture® paid, yearlong teacher residencies as of 2022-23. Teacher residents are an integral part of small teaching teams led by multi-classroom leaders. Educators from these Texas districts describe how their residencies benefit students, schools, and aspiring teachers.

Building Space for Collaborative Instruction

In this short video, see how one school’s room designs, including moveable walls, proved “perfect” for Opportunity Culture® teams and their students. While such design is not needed for Opportunity Culture® implementation, it has made collaboration even easier for multi-classroom leader teams in this Midland, Texas, school.