K-12 Framework

Best practices in education are the policies, procedures, and principles proven to be most effective in helping students learn. Our framework summarizes the best practices applied by schools that outperform the norms.

It is designed to identify what works best in teaching and learning based on objective data. Educators, policymakers and parents can use it to understand where their schools stand relative to top performers.

You can use it to analyze whether or not and how effectively best practices are applied at your school, and build a roadmap for student success by applying what is proven to work.

Organizing ThemeSystemSchoolClassroom
College and Career Readiness Curriculum & Expectations

Provide clear, specific learning objectives aligned to college and career readiness, along with evidence-based instructional practices, materials and resources. Self-Audit

Implement the system’s rigorous instructional program so that all students master the content knowledge and 21st century skills needed for post-secondary education and career success. Self-Audit

Implement evidence-based, engaging instructional practices and effective lesson design to ensure that all students meet rigorous expectations for content knowledge, critical thinking, and self-direction. Self-Audit

Culture of Achievement

Establish system-wide mission of college and career readiness for all students; provide schools with leadership and resources to support a culture of achievement. Self-Audit

Develop a collaborative school community that fosters a college-bound mindset, scholarship, and self-directed learning for achievement at the highest levels. Self-Audit

Promote the school’s academic community by maintaining college and career expectations, a collaborative professional culture, and a growth mindset among students. Self-Audit

Human Capital

Hire and cultivate effective school leaders and highly qualified teachers; build systems for monitoring school performance and adult practices, recognizing staff contributions, and providing ongoing supports. Self-Audit

Provide instructional leadership, a coherent program for professional development, and on-going feedback of teachers’ classroom practice; empower teachers to collaborate and own their professional growth. Self-Audit

Actively pursue personal and staff professional growth opportunities aligned to fostering college and career readiness; collaborate with colleagues and school leaders to create an environment of transparency and continuous improvement. Self-Audit

Data & Assessment

Maintain data, classroom assessment systems to monitor school and student performance; provide resources for using data to improve adult practices at all levels of the system. Self-Audit

Use multiple measures, including college-ready metrics, to monitor instructional practices and student achievement; support teachers in using data to improve instruction. Self-Audit

Draw upon standards and authentic assessments to monitor student achievement and use the results to adjust strategies that meet individual and collective learning needs. Self-Audit

Personalized Learning

Deploy resources and guidance to support efforts to prepare all students for college and career. Target evidence-based strategies that personalize instruction to meet students' varied needs. Self-Audit

Develop systems for identifying student needs and strengths, monitoring academic, social, and emotional development, and customizing individualized learning experiences. Self-Audit

Collaborate with specialists and colleagues to personalize curriculum, instructional practices, and evidence-based learning support strategies to effectively meet the specialized academic needs of all students. Self-Audit

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