Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Opportunity Culture Schools

Extending the Reach of Excellent Teaching to All Students, Every Year

Opportunity Culture extends the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within recurring budgets.

Teachers can advance in their careers without leaving the classroom, though career opportunities based on excellence, student impact, and leadership. Advancement allows teachers to earn more and reach more students, and development toward excellence becomes possible for all staff, in every role. The virtuous cycle of excellence can begin with educator prep and continue through teaching, teacher leadership and the principalship.

Opportunity Culture Principles

Opportunity Culture schools must meet Opportunity Culture Principles, which highlight what makes an Opportunity Culture different, including:

  • Teachers lead the way. Each Opportunity Culture school creates a team of teachers and administrators who decide what Opportunity Culture models fit their school best and plan critical implementation details, such as how and when teachers collaborate.
  • Many more students are reached with excellent teaching. Excellent teachers—those who typically make about 1 1/2 years of progress each year with their students—reach more students directly or by leading teaching teams. Students need that excellent teaching to close achievement gaps, leap ahead, and develop higher-order thinking skills. Good teachers need more support and a team to make the leap to consistent teaching excellence with more students.
  • Large, permanent pay supplements are funded through reallocations of current school budgets—not temporary grants—making the higher pay sustainable.
  • Teachers gain more protected, school-day planning and collaboration time, achieved through careful scheduling, and clarity about how to use that time. Teams collaborate to plan, review, and improve instruction. Multi-classroom leaders lead and develop teams to ensure success. How much do teachers value that daily, genuinely useful feedback and support? Watch them here.
  • Accountability matches the responsibilities of each person. Teachers can focus on their best subjects and roles with more students, with accountability matching what they take on. Multi-classroom leaders take formal accountability for the results of all the students served by the teachers on his or her team, unlike typical coach/facilitator/mentor roles.

To learn more about Opportunity Culture, visit or go to this infographic.

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 new pilot schools in the Lead Hill, Lincoln, and Forest City School Districts. 

To learn more, click on the image below or go to Opportunity Culture Schools video.

For more information, please contact:

Sandra Hurst, Division Director
Educator Support & Development
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 402-B
Little Rock, AR  72201
Phone: 501-682-8526
Fax: 501-682-5118

State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

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Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

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