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About Us...

The School Improvement Division supports the state’s goal to improve low-performing schools by reviewing, evaluating, monitoring, and intervening with campuses and their districts to ensure excellence in education for all students. 


To align identification of schools for improvement with the state’s accountability system, TEA utilizes the Closing the Gaps domain performance to identify comprehensive, targeted, and additional targeted support and improvement schools.

Comprehensive Support and Improvement Identification

The Closing the Gaps domain scaled score is used to identify schools for comprehensive support and improvement. TEA rank orders the scaled domain score for all campuses. The lowest five percent of campuses that receive Title I, Part A funds are identified for comprehensive support and improvement.

Additionally, if any Title I or non-Title I campus does not attain a 67 percent federal graduation rate for the all students group, the campus is identified for comprehensive support and improvement.

Targeted Support and Improvement Identification

TEA uses the Closing the Gaps domain to identify campuses that have consistently underperforming student groups. A student group that misses the targets in at least the same three indicators, for three consecutive years, is considered “consistently underperforming.” Any campus not identified for comprehensive support and improvement that has at least one consistently. 

Amanda Wallace


Heather Blount
Janet Thornton

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. The ESF supports school and district continuous improvement efforts by providing the basis for the ESF diagnostic process and the foundation for the alignment of resources and supports to the needs each school.

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 levers.

esf framework

The ESF Process:
The ESF framework is rooted in the continuous improvement process.

Increased focus on campus practices in addition to data

Narrow focus on high leverage needs

Supports and capacity builders aligned to the framework

ESF Process

ESF Levers:
The ESF defines 5 Levers that are essential in high performing campuses. Each lever includes:

District Commitments:
District commitments describe what local education agencies do to ensure that schools are set up for success.

Essential Actions:
Essential Actions describe what the most effective schools do to support powerful teaching and learning.

Foundational Essential Actions:
Each lever has one foundational essential action, which schools should address first in continuous improvement efforts, as they provide the foundation upon which the other essential actions develop.

Key Practices:
Each Essential Action includes a set of key practices that define what the essential action entails when implemented with fidelity.

Lever 1:
Effective campus instructional leaders with clear roles and responsibilities develop, implement, and monitor focused improvement plans that address the causes of low performance.

Lever 2:
Strategic Staffing
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.

Lever 3:

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.

Lever 4:

All students engage daily with TEKS aligned high-quality instructional materials and assessments that support leaning at appropriate levels of rigor.

Lever 5:

Campus leaders provide teachers with job-embedded professional development and access to time and data needed to reflect, adjust, and deliver instruction that meets the needs of all students. 

For information about conducting an ESF diagnostic on your campus, please contact:

Tori Mitchell
Education Specialist for School Improvement 

Phone: 806-281-5863
Sign Up For Our Newsletter...

To receive our weekly edition of ESC-17 Continuous Improvement, a newsletter in which we communicate important announcements, professional development opportunities, and inspiration for school leaders. 

Contact Tori Mitchell, to be added to the mailing list.

Tori Mitchell
Education Specialist for School Improvement 
Phone: 806-281-5863
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