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Brief | Advanced Teaching Roles: Providing new avenues for teacher leadership

Across North Carolina, Advanced Teaching Roles are providing new avenues for teacher leadership, modernizing outdated school organizational models to better support developing teachers, empowering school leaders, and improving student achievement. BEST NC is pleased to announce the release of a new policy brief on this program.

BEST NC’s new Advanced Teaching Roles Policy Brief captures the history of this program in North Carolina and why it is needed, provides an overview of the research on its impact, shares best practices for schools and districts, and provides recommendations for scaling this important strategy statewide. 

For decades, teachers have recognized that they are not given the same professional respect and experiences as other high-skill professionals. From the way they are thrust into the classroom with very little support to the lack of professional pathways, teachers rarely experience genuinely professional opportunities to develop their skills and to be promoted into advanced roles (without leaving the classroom for school administration). 

The current system works perfectly for the way it was originally designed in the industrial era and has changed very little since. Today, most schools continue to operate under a “one teacher, one classroom” structure that fails to treat educators as skilled professionals. This has left them mired in an outdated organizational structure that suppresses teachers’ career development, limits student access to effective instruction, and creates difficult working conditions throughout the school building. 

Advanced Teaching Roles models elevate effective teachers to leadership positions in which they receive substantial, ongoing increased pay for taking on additional responsibilities and/or extending their reach, usually by directly teaching more students or by providing embedded professional development to teams of teachers. As a result, Advanced Teaching Roles models increase the instructional capacity of the entire staff and ensure more students get access to effective instruction.  

Advanced Roles are a meaningful, paid career opportunity that enhances the educator experience for both the ATR teacher and their colleagues while extending the reach of effective educators to more students. 

Read the new policy brief on Advanced Teaching Roles here, or see it below.


BEST NC (Business for Education Success and Transformation in NC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of business leaders committed to improving North Carolina’s education system. We do this by convening a broad constituency; encouraging collaboration around a shared, bold vision for education; and advocating for policies, research, programs, and awareness that will significantly improve education in North Carolina.