What Could You Do in an Opportunity Culture?
Together Ector County ISD and Midland ISD are introducing Opportunity Culture, an innovative approach to staffing that multiplies the impact of highly effective teachers, thereby improving student performance. Opportunity Culture also enhances efforts to recruit and retain highly qualified instructors by offering career advancement opportunities, sustainable higher pay, and on-the-job professional development and support. Bringing Opportunity Culture to the Permian Basin is a result of partnerships with Public Impact, US PREP, and the University of Texas Permian Basin.
In the national Opportunity Culture initiative, founded by Public Impact and now in some 30 sites in 10 states, districts build complete career ladders that allow teachers to advance without having to leave the classroom. In ECISD and MISD the ladder goes from full-year, paid teacher residencies up through multi-classroom leadership.
The Multi-Classroom Leader, or MCL, heads a powerful team of teachers, advanced paraprofessionals and teacher residents. MCLs provide intensive, day-to-day support, collaboration, and professional development to all members of the team – which helps with recruiting and retaining staff. Opportunity Culture works within the existing school budget to pay teacher-leaders more, making pay supplements sustainable. Student performance improves as highly effective teachers collaborate and reach more students every day.
One other critical feature of our Permian Basin initiative is the creation of paid residencies for teacher candidates to help strengthen the pipeline of highly-trained teachers entering the profession. This work will be a model for districts and education preparation providers nationwide.
In the 2020-21 school year, ECISD will pilot Opportunity Culture at eight schools: Blackshear Elementary, E.K. Downing Elementary, Ross Elementary, Sam Houston Elementary, Crockett Middle School, Nimitz Middle School, Wilson & Young Middle School and Odessa High School. A team of teachers and administrators at each of these schools will design its own unique Opportunity Culture structure that best meets the needs of their students and staff.
Teachers benefit. Students benefit. Our community benefits.