Exemplary practices that generate high achievement levels in schools can be used as benchmarks to self-assess and set goals for continuous progress. However, prior to benchmarking a school, it is important to consider one of the strong patterns found in typical school evaluations.
If a school has one or more of these three student outcomes for 2 or more consecutive school years:
- Wide Achievement Gaps (20%+)
- Low Overall Proficiency (80%-)
- Low Growth (10%-)
The proven causes are some combination of the following gaps:
- Curriculum Gap caused by…
- Curriculum Design: Both “official” and “taught”
- Below Grade Level Instruction and Assignments
- Teacher Knowing and Doing Gap caused by…
- Inconsistent, random, or rare use of high yield, exemplary instructional practices and strategies
- Poverty Gap caused by…
- Lack of Support and Scaffolding for struggling students
How do exemplary schools address all three gaps to significantly advance achievement for all students?
Exemplary schools do not reach high levels of achievement by implementing any one individual research-based strategy; rather by intentionally connecting strategies and practices so they work together in coordination with each other, which maximizes their effectiveness.
Implementing the Learning-Focused Framework has made a huge impact in our school and district. Learning-Focused is an excellent instructional model that is built upon reflective practice. The collaboration and reflection that has resulted from planning and working together to create our units and lessons has helped to build a strong culture of learning.