To make this vision a reality for Texas’s school leaders, teachers, and students, five pillars — what the TEA refers to as levers — underpin the ESF.
The Five Levers of the Effective Schools Framework
As mentioned above, the ESF defines five levers that, as stated by the TEA, “are essential in high performing campuses.” Each lever (which you’ll learn about shortly) subsequently includes four components:
District commitments. This is what local education agencies do to ensure schools are set for success.
Essential actions. This outlines what the most effective schools do to support teaching and learning.
Foundational essential actions. This refers to what schools should address first, and it provides the foundation that other essential actions develop from.
Key practices. For each essential action, there are key practices that define what the action entails when implemented with fidelity.
Please note that all of this information above (and below) is from the TEA’s ESF website, and I highly recommend checking out their site for more in-depth information about the Effective Schools Framework.
The five levers of the ESF are as follows.
ESF Lever 1: Strong School Leadership and Planning
Strong leadership and planning involves creating “effective campus instructional leaders with clear roles and responsibilities.”
These leaders then “develop, implement, and monitor focused improvement plans that address the causes of low performance.”
Schools and districts can use SchoolMint analytics to monitor implementation and continuously improve upon the need identification and planning process to easily identify trends and adapt plans to ensure benchmarks are met.
ESF Lever 2: Strategic Staffing
With the second lever, the TEA explains, school leaders retain high-quality, effective teachers “by strategically recruiting, selecting, assigning and inducting teachers so that all students have access to high-quality educators.”
With SchoolMint Grow, you can implement targeted and personalized coaching strategies to support and retain staff.
ESF Lever 3: Positive School Culture
To create a positive school culture, you need your vision, mission, goals, and values to be both compelling and in alignment.
You also need explicit behavioral expectations and a behavior management system that’s proactive, responsive, and involves families.
Leverage a platform, such as SchoolMint Hero, that ensures that your system of rewards and consequences are equitable and delivered in a common language.
ESF Lever 4: High-Quality Instructional Materials and Assessments
When focusing on Lever 4, students engage daily with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)–aligned instructional materials as well as assessments “that support learning at appropriate levels of rigor.”
SchoolMint Grow can help you streamline lesson plan internalization and feedback processes through the platform’s lesson plan feedback feature.
You can then use Grow to coach your teachers to your expected level of rigor.
ESF Lever 5: Effective Instruction
Under this lever, school leaders give teachers professional development as well as the time and data they need to reflect on feedback, adjust their methods, and deliver instruction that meets students’ needs.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll provide a more in-depth look at the ESF diagnostic process as well as two levers specifically — Lever 3 and Lever 5 — and explain how SchoolMint can strongly support the Effective Schools Framework with each.