Success Story – Increasing the Opportunity for Excellence

Increasing the Opportunity for Excellence


Project L.I.F.T. is an ambitious public-private initiative to improve student achievement within the highest-poverty and lowest-performing schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina. The leaders of Project L.I.F.T. were looking for new and innovative ways to attract and retain excellent teachers. Too often, they would lose talent to other districts that offered higher pay and more professional development opportunities. In order to stand out, Project L.I.F.T. knew it needed to take bold steps.


To help our client succeed with their ambitious goals, Resolve Talent Consulting partnered with Public Impact, a national research and consulting firm focused on education. Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture gives excellent teachers the ability to extend their reach as multi-classroom leaders, with greater responsibility and higher pay. When Resolve implemented Opportunity Culture within Project L.I.F.T., word spread quickly. Schools that had previously been hard to staff became a magnet for teachers wanting to grow professionally while impacting more students.


The quality and caliber of the applicants rose significantly, as did teacher retention. In the first year of the implementation of Opportunity Culture at Project L.I.F.T. schools, more than 700 teachers applied for just 27 positions. At the same time, only 80 candidates made it past the initial phase of a rigorous screening process. Year two of Opportunity Culture showed how valuable the program had become to L.I.F.T. — 145 candidates passed the first phase, an 80 percent increase in high-quality candidates over the previous year. CMS had the enviable dilemma of selecting from a deep and competitive talent pool, as well as the ability to fill non-Opportunity Culture roles with teachers who wanted to get a foot in the door for the next available Opportunity Culture position. Those opportunities are proving to be somewhat rare, however. Currently Project L.I.F.T. schools have retained an astonishing 93 percent of teachers in Opportunity Culture roles.

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