Open Up Opportunity

A New Resource for School Leaders

School leaders have one of the most important jobs in the world, and they shouldn’t have to do it alone. That’s why we’ve made supporting values-driven leaders, who are aspiring to achieve more for students, the heart of our work for more than a decade.

While there are many ways to expand opportunity for students, two key levers often make a big difference: teachers’ mindsets and instructional materials. Therein comes Open Up Opportunity, a collection of resources for school leaders.

Leading Educators Leading Educators
"Leadership is second only to classroom instruction as an influence on student learning... to date we have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership... leaders have the potential to unleash latent capacities in organizations."
How Leadership Influences Student Learning (2004)
A Pathway: Working With Mindsets & Materials

Open Up Opportunity is a synthesis of what we’ve learned so far from our own work and others about ways school leaders can foster equitable classrooms. It’s neither a prescription nor a roadmap, but rather a collection of hypotheses, guiding principles, key actions, and curated resources for school leaders that tie to four habits.

Mindsets

Mindsets are sets of beliefs that shape how we make sense of the world and our place in it. Because they influence how we think, feel, and behave in a situation, mindsets can be both barriers to and supports for strong teaching and leading.

Materials

Curricular materials can level access to challenging lessons and help all students access their potential in different ways. When teachers are equipped to use common, high-quality instructional materials across classrooms and differentiate with intention, all students are more likely to experience what they need to reach high goals. Better yet, when leaders provide clear support around materials, teachers can spend less time figuring out what to teach and focus their passion and energy on how they teach.

Our Collaborators: 5 Incredible School Leaders

Open Up Opportunity

Find Your Next Step

Open Up Opportunity is about putting you in the driver’s seat of where you go next, so there is no one right way to use it. Use it as a reflection tool (that includes activities you can do right now) as you think about goals for the next year and beyond.

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Leading Educators Leading Educators
“I didn’t know how to take a school within a system that's already pre-built, and transform it into something more equitable, but I wanted to create something I’d not seen before. Everything that I've done in my life has led up or built to where we are today.”
Dr. Angelina Walker, John H. Amesse Elementary School

Revisit Teaching for Equity

Open Up Opportunity builds upon our vision for excellent and equitable teaching, focusing more specifically on the system and school resources necessary for work in classrooms to succeed. For a deeper exploration of teaching practices that lead to transformational experiences for students, check out Teaching for Equity.

Explore the Framework
teacher with two students
Gratitude

Thank you to the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation for making this research possible. We also celebrate the leaders, peers, and researchers who contributed wisdom and lived experiences to the design process.