The pandemic has left students on average five months behind in math and four months behind in reading. And while teacher quality is the most important in-school factor influencing student achievement, excellent teachers are limited in how many students they traditionally reach.
Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture uses a teacher-leadership model in which a teacher with a strong track record of student growth becomes a “multi-classroom leader” and supports teams of three to eight educators in designing instruction, co-teaching, coaching, and analyzing and responding to data on student learning. The model extends the reach of excellent teachers, improves teacher practices, provides paid career advancement, and achieves higher-growth student learning and greater teacher satisfaction within schools’ regular budgets.
Two studies show that, on average, teachers who are part of multi-classroom leader teams shift their students’ learning growth from an average of the 50th percentile to the 77th percentile in reading and math.
During Covid, Public Impact made all aspects of its support remote while adding paid, within-budget residencies and design options to boost teacher pay. This allowed them to increase their historic 50 percent year-over-year growth rate to approximately 60 percent. The organization expects to reach >100,000 students in SY 2021-22 and has begun planning to automate some technical support to decrease cost at scale.
Public Impact believes their current rate of expansion will allow them to bring the Opportunity Culture staffing model to 75 percent of U.S. schools by 2034, expanding the reach of excellent teachers to tens of millions of students and resulting in an extra 0.2 to 0.8 years of learning in reading and an extra 0.3 to 0.7 years of learning in math annually.
Overdeck Family Foundation’s funding helped Public Impact build capacity, analyze data, and innovate to improve the impact and efficiency of Opportunity Culture. Our strategic support also guided the leadership team in the change management necessary for this type of rapid growth and innovation.