Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness Matters

The evidence base is clear that students benefit from access to teachers and leaders who share their background, and we know from our own experiences as students and educators how powerful it is to have mentors who understand some of the barriers that we might face given aspects of our identities.  Beyond representation, we know that effectiveness relies on cultural competence and that innovation is vastly accelerated with a diversity of perspectives. For these reasons, we are investing in building a diverse teacher and leader force that is well-prepared and culturally competent, with a particular focus on those who share a background with our most under-resourced children.

Learn More:

Raising the Bar for Teacher Preparation

Teacher residencies are leading as a 21st century teacher preparation pathway that measures and monitors a resident’s knowledge and skills prior to entering the classroom as a lead teacher. Residents are matched with mentors – experienced and data proven educators – who gradually release responsibility to the resident to teach and facilitate learning effectively over the course of the year.

We have invested in the launch and scale of the St. Louis Teacher Residency program which provides an innovative pathway into the classroom.  Their model blends a rigorous full-year classroom apprenticeship with a carefully aligned sequence of academic coursework, designed to successfully prepare residents for a career in urban education.

Learn More:

Investing in High-Quality Teacher Pipelines

In addition to the St. Louis Teacher Residency program, we are invested in Teach For America which is a network of diverse leaders grounded through experience teaching in high poverty schools working to expand educational opportunity from within and outside of schools. In St. Louis, the Teach for America network is 600 strong, including over 200 classroom teachers and more than 90 alumni working in school & school systems leadership. More than 28% of alumni identify as people of color and 62% are transplants to the region.

We are supporting the expansion of Teach for America St. Louis to help them recruit more talented leaders to teach in our city’s under-resourced schools.

Learn More:

Connecting Leaders to Excellence and Innovation

We believe that we can and must increase the number of world class schools and high-quality seats in St. Louis and at the same time that we must shift power to the parents and communities that are served by St. Louis schools. It is not enough to have pockets of excellence across the city so we must strengthen the ties between educators and schools to accelerate the rate at which we see and learn from excellence. We support leadership pipeline and development programs as well as communities of practice to connect educators to one another, building trusted networks for practice-sharing.

Our recent investments in this area have included a two-day professional development workshop provided by The Management Center for school leaders in St. Louis, our Catalyst Fellowship for educators and entrepreneurs who want to forge the next frontier of learning environments, and connections and supports that address specific school needs.

The Opportunity Trust invests in educators and school systems eager to build the capacity required to make significant and measurable change.

If that's you, check out our opportunities