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Effective Schools Framework (ESF)


The goal of the Effective Schools Framework (ESF) is to provide a clear vision for what districts and schools across the state do to ensure an excellent education for all Texas students.




  • provides the basis for school diagnostics and for aligning resources and support to the needs of each school.
  • was developed in conjunction with school and district leaders and included a national review of research about what makes high-performing schools excellent.
  • is part of the Texas Education Agency’s five-year strategic plan and is designed to improve internal technical assistance capacity and aligned partners to support the continuous improvement of Texas school districts and campuses.

At the core of effective schools is effective instruction: interactions between students, teachers, and content determine learning outcomes. This instructional core is strengthened and supported by effective, well-supported teachers, high-quality curriculum, and positive school culture. Strong school leadership and careful planning encompass and ensure each of these prioritized levers. The Effective Schools Framework also consists of a set of district commitments and, for schools, essential actions with key practices that define high level performance. 


Prioritized Lever 1: Strong School Leadership and Planning

Effective campus instructional leaders with clear roles and responsibilities develop, implement, and monitor focused improvement plans that address the causes of low performance.


Essential Actions:

1. Develop campus instructional leaders (principal, assistant principal, counselors, teacher leaders) with clear roles and responsibilities

2. Focused plan development and regular monitoring of implementation and outcomes


Prioritized Lever 2: Effective, Well-Supported Teachers

Campus leadership retains effective, well-supported teachers by strategically recruiting, selecting, assigning, and building the capacity of teachers so that all students have access to high-quality educators.


Essential Actions:

1. Recruit, select, assign, induct, and retain a full staff of highly qualified educators

2. Build teacher capacity through observation and feedback cycles


Prioritized Lever 3: Positive School Culture

Positive school culture requires compelling and aligned vision, mission, goals and values, explicit behavioral expectations and management system, proactive and responsive student support services, and involved families and community.


Essential Actions:

1. Compelling and aligned vision, mission, goals, values focused on a safe environment and high expectations

2. Explicit behavioral expectations and management systems for students and staff

3. Proactive and responsive student support services

4. Involving families and community


Prioritized Lever 4: High-Quality Curriculum

All students have access to a TEKS-aligned, guaranteed and viable curriculum, assessments, and resources to engage in learning at appropriate levels of rigor.


Essential Actions:

1. Curriculum and assessments aligned to TEKS with a year-long scope and sequence


Prioritized Lever 5: Effective Instruction

All students have rigorous learning experiences because the school ensures objective-driven daily lessons, classroom routines, and formative assessments that yield the data necessary for teachers to reflect, adjust, and deliver instruction that meets the needs of each student.


Essential Actions:

1. Objective-driven daily lesson plans with formative assessments

2. Effective classroom routines and instructional strategies

3. Data-driven instruction

4. RTI for students with learning gaps


To learn more about the Effective Schools Framework, visit


Region 6 ESF Contacts

Jennifer Graves

School Improvement Lead



Laurie Slaydon

School Improvement Lead



Tammy Walker

School Improvement Lead



Stacey Zielonka

Director, Leadership & Accountability