Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture partners with schools to empower teachers with a strong track record of student learning growth to become multi-classroom leaders (MCLs). The MCLs lead their teams, composed of three to eight teachers, to help design instruction, co-teach, and coach along the way. They also help their teams analyze and respond to data on student learning and are evaluated in part on the learning growth of the team’s (not just their own) students.
Rigorous analysis from three school districts showed that, on average (pre-pandemic), when lower-performing educators were placed on teams led by high-performing Opportunity Culture educators, those who previously performed at the 50th percentile produced student learning gains equivalent to teachers in the top quartile in math and nearly that in reading.
More recent data gathered by Public Impact show that by the fourth year of implementation, as MCLs reach more students, Opportunity Culture schools’ odds of high growth are more than 50 percent higher than schools without MCLs.
The MCL and team structure helped smooth the abrupt shift to remote learning during COVID-19. In an elementary school, one MCL could work across all subjects, while others specialize. MCLs were able to continue providing intensive (weekly if not daily) support online, joining their team teachers’ virtual classrooms to co-teach, model, and observe. MCLs also extended their reach during the shift by, for example, helping create libraries of instructional videos that all teachers could use, and helping reconnect with students who were not logging in to class.
MCLs receive substantial pay supplements and are held formally accountable for the results of all teachers on their team, unlike typical coaches or facilitators. But the extra pay is funded within regular school budgets, so districts can achieve these learning results with no additional costs after transition.
With strong evidence of impact and a sustainable scaling plan, Overdeck Family Foundation provided funding to Opportunity Culture to continue growing their program to more than 600 schools, in more than 45 districts and CMOs across 10 states.