Too often, “teacher leadership” roles intended to attract and retain teachers—especially great ones—and close student learning gaps fail to produce the intended impact. This two-page brief offers a quick list of the common pitfalls of designing such roles, and a chart of the 12 essential factors for creating high-quality, lasting teacher-leader roles. Defining and organizing high-impact teacher-leader roles can allow great teachers to have a far greater effect on vastly more students and teaching peers.
This toolkit helps district, school, and charter management organization leaders select teachers and staff members for the school models of an Opportunity Culture. Districts that have created an Opportunity Culture have seen a surge of applications; this toolkit helps leaders adapt to a higher volume of applications and the chance that offers to become highly selective in hiring. The kit helps leaders screen and prioritize candidates for these new roles, which require new behaviors and skills. For ease of use and downloading, this toolkit walks users through the steps of selecting candidates for Opportunity Culture roles. Begin with the Overview, which explains the screening process, followed by full explanations of the individual steps. Each step includes a set of considerations, action steps, and links to relevant tools and resources.
Evaluation is one critical element of an Opportunity Culture, used primarily to guide development and career opportunities. But previous teacher evaluation reforms were built for the one-teacher-one-classroom model, and few districts have provided a robust, sustainably funded way to connect teacher evaluation with career opportunities. In contrast, in an Opportunity Culture, few teachers work alone most of the time. Because most Opportunity Culture teachers collaborate with colleagues in teams, they see one another’s thinking and actions up close. These colleagues and team leaders are in the best position to give one another valuable and accurate feedback to support their improvement throughout the year. All of this changes both the content and process of teacher evaluation—for the better. But districts and states must deliberately change evaluation to match the team, team leader, and extended-reach roles that are common in schools using Opportunity Culture models. This guide will help education leaders align evaluation and its uses with an Opportunity Culture and similar school models and career paths—successfully and at a low cost.
Parents are uniquely positioned to catapult their children’s education to the highest levels. They know their children best, and they care the most. And they have an increasing array of options for their children’s schooling, with approximately 15 million students attending schools other than their assigned public schools. Yet parents often lack the know-how to make the best decisions about their children’s education and to help improve the schools their kids attend. Many are intimidated by their lack of expertise, and others who are well-informed need help communicating effectively with school staff. We need a large-scale effort to inspire and equip parents to play their central role in education. The core of our work in this area is our book, Picky Parent Guide: Choose Your Child’s School with Confidence, published by Armchair Press in 2004. Parents can buy the complete book or download chapters and tools for free.
In this brief, Public Impact Co-Directors Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel share their most recent vision of an Opportunity Culture. The brief explains how extending the reach of great teachers can start a virtuous cycle of excellence and higher pay for all teachers.
This set of slide decks for 19 training sessions for new multi-classroom leaders, with accompanying handouts, is based on input from the first Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leaders about the information and training they needed to be successful in leading their teams.
Paid Educator Residencies, Within Budget: How New School Models Can Radically Improve Teacher and Principal Preparation details how to create paid, full-time, yearlong residencies for aspiring teachers and principals, within existing budgets. Aspiring teachers become part of a team led by a multi-classroom leader, while aspiring principals receive intensive coaching and support from a multi-school leader and a team of principals.