What is the Effective Schools Framework?

4 min read
May 6, 2022 12:37:05 PM

Learn how the five levers of the Effective Schools Framework support effective instruction for students in Texas.

At the heart of highly effective schools is effective instruction — so believes the Texas Education Agency (TEA). We at SchoolMint agree, too.

We’re committed to supporting Texas schools and districts, from large districts to single-site charter schools, as well as supporting the TEA’s Effective Schools Framework (ESF).

Below, you’ll learn what the ESF is, its vision, the ESF’s five levers, and how you can implement software that supports effective instruction in your school(s) or district.


What is the Effective Schools Framework?

The Texas Education Agency created the Effective Schools Framework to provide effective instruction and an excellent education in Texas schools.

According to their website, the ESF provides “A clear vision for what districts and schools across the state do to ensure an excellent education for all Texas students.”

To develop effective instruction and provide students with the aforementioned excellent education, schools in Texas need a strong foundation in place.

This foundation consists of:

  • Strategic staffing
  • High-quality instructional materials and assessments
  • A positive school climate and culture
  • Strong school leadership and careful planning

the texas education agency's effective schools framework framework graphic

Image source: Texas ESF Website

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.

This is the lever most schools choose to work on.

With SchoolMint Grow, you can support fifth lever. Grow lets you:

  • Build teacher capacity through classroom observation and feedback cycles.
  • Engage in data-driven analysis of student work.
  • Record, upload, share, and reflect on instruction with the mobile video app.
three teachers sitting at a table discussing mental health

Elevate Teachers. Strengthen Classrooms. Partner with SchoolMint.

Many Texas schools use SchoolMint products and services to support the five levers of the Effective Schools Framework.

You can learn more here about how we can meet the unique needs of Texas districts and schools.

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.

Stay tuned!



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