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State's Experiment Offers Promising Solution to Teacher Shortages

State's Experiment Offers Promising Solution to Teacher Shortages

In order to keep teachers in the classroom, an experimental program in North Carolina has been increasing leadership opportunities and financial incentives for positive results.

"The program, called 'Opportunity Culture,' offers exceptional teachers a hands-on supervisory role, known as a multi-classroom leader, in which they coach and coordinate several classrooms, help improve classroom management, work with students who need special attention and take responsibility for outcomes," according to NewsOK.com.

The experiment was developed and is implemented by non-profit Public Impact and has so far shown very promising results.

"By the second year of implementation, [co-director Bryan] Hassel said, schools showed up to 70 percent better learning growth compared to similar classrooms in the same and other schools," said the article.

For example of how the program works, "[o]ne of those teachers saved for the classroom is Erin Burns, who would be an assistant principal now had she not become a multi-classroom leader at West Charlotte High School in North Carolina last year," the article said.

After acquiring her master's degree, 28-year-old Burns considered a position as assistant principal, "the only real career advancement path for most teachers."

Opportunity Culture kept her in the classroom by giving her a chance at leadership experience, and she received a pay bump of $16,000 that was comparable to the salary of assistant principal.

"Burns helped shape the lesson plans and assessments used in the school's biology program. The bulk of her time is now directed at helping 500 students a year pass the state-required biology exam. Her job is to [improve] the biology test scores of those students, compared to their predicted scores based on their 8th grade English and math scores."

Next year the program is expected to expand to 60 schools, up 50% from the 30 served last year.

Read the full story here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

08/03/2015

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