Public Impact is excited to announce that our Opportunity Culture initiative is partnering with the College Board and the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) to reach rural school districts with excellent NCSSM teachers. In the first phase of this pilot, an excellent NCSSM teacher will become an Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leader for a team of pre-calculus teachers spread across rural North Carolina in the spring 2019 semester. The first phase will lay the groundwork to add more remotely located multi-classroom leaders from NCSSM and elsewhere.
Bryan Hassel, Public Impact’s co-president, will be presenting in two sessions at this year’s iNACOL symposium in Nashville. Join him today for “Making Blended Better” at 2:15 in room 206, where he, Cabarrus County teacher and former Opportunity Culture Fellow Scott Nolt (at right), and former principal Michelle Cline discuss what they’ve learned and where they’re going with the use of blended instruction. They’ll cover how innovative staffing, course design, and student engagement can make the most of blended and personalized learning–bringing the best to far more students.
Can’t get to iNACOL? Check out a video of Mr. Nolt and read his column “Blending the Best: Better Learning for More Kids.”
On Wednesday, Bryan Hassel and Thomas Arnett, senior research fellow at the Christensen Institute, will lead a design workshop, “Leveraging Innovative Staffing Models to Maximize the Power of Personalized Learning,” from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in room 106B. They’ll be discussing our recent joint project studying how a number of district, charter, and private schools are using non-traditional staffing and blended learning to achieve noteworthy results for their students.
An Opportunity Culture extends the reach of excellent teaching—what about doing the same for excellent schoolwide leadership? Public Impact, which founded the national Opportunity Culture initiative, today releases a set of practical materials on Multi-School Leadership: How to extend the reach of excellent principals by having them lead a small group of schools, for more pay, funded within the budgets of their schools.
Multi-school leaders (MSLs) are excellent principals with a record of high-growth student learning who lead a small group of two to eight related or closely located schools. They lead a collaborative team of their schools’ principals while typically continuing to lead one school in the group directly.
The cornerstone of Multi-School Leadership is instructional leadership within each school by multi-classroom leaders. Together, these create a leadership career path with multiple levels, all focused on instructional excellence, frequent guidance and support for teachers and principals, and keeping great educators working directly with students.
These new roles also allow paid, full-time residencies for both aspiring teachers and principals—entirely within schools’ regular budgets. (Public Impact will be publishing more on residencies in the near future.)
New Multi-School Leadership Materials
More: Look for selection guidance, tools for managing multiple schools, and more—coming soon!
Benefits of Multi-School Leadership
- Reach more teachers and their students with excellent leadership
- Let outstanding principals advance with higher pay, while continuing to lead instructional excellence
- Help all principals and teachers continuously improve their leadership and instruction
- Retain principals longer by helping them handle the job well and succeed with students
- Build a strong pipeline of excellent instructional leaders, with a career path for development
How Do Multi-School Leaders Lead?
- Lead their team of school principals to review data for each school and for the schools overall to identify the best approaches to achieve student success.
- Guide each school’s top instructional leader in key elements of instructional and administrative leadership.
- Observe and give feedback, coach, and lead performance data analysis and problem-solving throughout the multi-school team.
- Rotate working in person in the schools they lead, connecting personally with teachers, staff, and families.
- Take accountability for student learning, teacher satisfaction, and other outcomes in all schools led. Multi-school leaders earn supplements above principal pay, typically 10 to 40 percent, depending on spans and budgets. All pay supplements are funded within the total budgets of the schools in the group.
The Foundation: Multi-Classroom Leadership
- Are teacher-leaders with a track record of high-growth student learning and leadership qualities.
- Lead a small grade or subject team: co-planning, coaching, co-teaching, and modeling instruction and data analysis for and with the team.
- Continue to teach part of the time, often by leading small-group instruction.
- Work with other multi-classroom leaders as a team to help principals lead instruction, behavior policies, and other critical activities affecting learning in each school.
- Take accountability for student learning, teacher satisfaction, and other outcomes in all classrooms led.
Because multi-classroom leaders co-lead instruction schoolwide, other changes in schoolwide leadership roles to allow multi-school leadership become possible. Research indicates that multi-classroom leadership helps teams of teachers produce substantially higher student learning growth than in typical schools, forming a strong foundation for adding multi-school leadership, too.
Opportunity Culture now includes more than 20 districts in nine states. See the Opportunity Culture Dashboard for more details.
Amid all the buzz about personalizing learning, what can we learn from schools getting great results? In Public Impact’s new report with the Clayton Christensen Institute, Innovative Staffing to Personalize Learning, we analyzed eight schools and school networks that are not only personalizing learning, but also getting strong learning results with disadvantaged students.
What’s different about these schools compared with the norm? New staffing models combined with blended learning. In these schools, blended learning does not replace teachers. Instead, blended learning augments the ability of multiple adults to understand and meet the needs of individual students in a collaborative workplace.
Research about Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture initiative has already shown positive student learning gains in district schools where multi-classroom leaders lead small, collaborative teaching teams, many of which use digital tools to keep track of student progress. But what about these other efforts?
Under Superintendent Sharon Contreras, Guilford County Schools, based in Greensboro, N.C., has joined the national Opportunity Culture initiative to extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within schools’ recurring budgets.
Researchers at the Brookings Institution and American Institutes for Research released a study in January showing the effect Opportunity Culture can have: Teachers who were on average at the 50th percentile in student learning gains, and who then joined teams led by multi-classroom leaders, produced learning gains equivalent to those of teachers from the 75th to 85th percentile in math, and, in six of the seven statistical models, from 66th to 72nd percentile in reading.
Opportunity Culture, founded and led by Public Impact of Chapel Hill-Carrboro, N.C., now includes more than 20 districts in nine states, including five in North Carolina. Guilford will be the second of North Carolina’s five largest districts to join. See the Opportunity Culture Dashboard for more details about the initiative, which has grown to more than 225 schools since implementation began in seven schools in 2013.
Contreras was also the superintendent in Syracuse, N.Y., when she took the unprecedented step of becoming the first collective bargaining Opportunity Culture district in 2014–15, only the third district in the initiative’s pilot phase.
As part of a deep look at how schools rethink how they are organized to address each student’s needs, Public Impact and the Clayton Christensen Institute today released the second set of profiles of schools and teachers using innovative staffing with blended learning. These profiles, many with accompanying videos, set the stage for an upcoming white paper analyzing the patterns of the schools’ and teachers’ experiences.
We focused on schools or school networks serving disadvantaged populations that achieved better-than-typical student learning and provided students with more personalized experiences while using new staffing models and blended learning.
This column first appeared on EducationNC on February 23, 2018.
As a young child I was always taught the famous proverb: If you love your job, you will never work a day in your life. I discovered my passion in education—my love for learning and teaching. So I have truly never “worked” since I was 21 years old. As I matured, though, I realized that we all need continued inspiration to keep pushing toward the goal of creating successful students.
After 11 years of teaching, I began to feel complacent. I knew the lessons. I knew the students. I knew the building. I knew the staff. My passion was dwindling. I needed to reach out and change lives in a different way.