January 28, 2021, CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—As part of its commitment to implement Opportunity Culture in schools across the state, the Arkansas Department of Education is supporting its third cohort of school districts this year joining the national initiative to extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams, for more pay, within regular school budgets. The school districts of Brinkley, Crossett, Earle and Osceola will begin implementing Opportunity Culture roles in the 2021–22 school year.
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) committed to spreading Opportunity Culture in its Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan; Arkansas districts already using Opportunity Culture roles are North Little Rock, Forrest City, Gentry and Lincoln Consolidated. Nationally, Opportunity Culture, founded by Public Impact, is used in more than 45 districts and charter school organizations in 10 states.
“We are excited to expand the Opportunity Culture model in Arkansas. We believe that this evidence-based model provides an innovative structure for districts to extend the reach of highly effective teachers to more students,” ADE Deputy Commissioner Ivy Pfeffer said. “Opportunity Culture serves as a model of innovation for districts around the state and enhances our Teach Arkansas initiative’s goals of recruiting and retaining the best educators in the state. It also perfectly aligns with 2017 legislation that created the Arkansas Educator Career Continuum, which provides educators the opportunity to lead from the classroom. By implementing and expanding best practices such as this, we will ensure every student has access to exceptional educators and that learning thrives.”
The work is led by the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.