Public Impact has launched the implementation phase of its effort to bring excellent teachers to every classroom. In this phase, the organization seeks to identify five “model” sites that can be used to extend the reach of these teachers beyond their own classrooms. Seeking to create what it calls an “Opportunity Culture,” Public Impact wants to redesign teachers’ roles using new technologies to broadcast excellent teachers to more students, for more pay, but within existing state budgets.
Public Impact has posted over 20 brief models on their website that schools can use to tailor “reach extension” designs. The models were developed in cooperation with teachers and education experts, along with Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture Advisory Team. Each reach extension project must:
1. Reach more children successfully with excellent teachers. Teachers whose reach is extended are (and stay) in the top 25 percent based on student growth; other measures may supplement but not replace growth.
2. Pay excellent teachers more for reaching more children successfully, in approximate proportion to increased student reach.
3. Achieve permanent financial sustainability within budgets from per-pupil funding.
a. Changes are budget-neutral or positive (after planning/start-up costs).
b. Implementation is funded with usual, not temporary, sources. Costs funded with extra funds may include major facility changes, technology purchases, and consulting fees (and/or temporary change organizers on staff).
4. Include roles for other educators that enable solid performers both to learn from excellent peers and contribute to excellent outcomes for children.
5. Identify the adult who is accountable for each student’s outcomes, and clarify what people, technology, and other resources (s)he is empowered to choose and manage.
Public Impact has several characteristics it is looking for in potential model sites, but is specifically focused on a deep commitment to the project by educational leaders:
1. Leaders have already implemented a teacher evaluation system that includes individual teachers’ student growth. Top 20 to 25 percent teachers can be identified in all subjects in which excellent teachers’ reach will be extended.
2. Leaders make a “3X for All” commitment: to reach every child successfully with teaching as good as today’s top quartile in target subjects. Implementation may begin with prototype sites, but with the intention of implementing system-wide.
3. Superintendent/CEO commits to the initiative principles.
4. Board commits to the initiative principles.
5. Superintendent/CEO assigns a person to be fully accountable for implementation.
6. Principals in involved schools commit to initiative principles in writing.
Consultants can help, but school leaders must drive implementation and communicate with staff and parents.
To learn more, please visit http://www.opportunityculture.org