CSF 1: Improve Academic Performance

Academic performance is the foundational Critical Success Factor. By ensuring the CSFs of teacher quality, effective leadership, data driven instructional decisions, productive community and parent involvement, efficient use of learning time, and maintaining a positive school climate, campuses can increase performance for all students. All of these research-based measures, when taken as a whole, are keys to continuous school improvement.

Supporting Components

Key strategies establish the foundation for each Critical Success Factor. The activities supporting each CSF must be thoughtfully developed by stakeholders to ensure each campus initiative is successful. The strategies noted here, when implemented correctly, can support the development of each Critical Success Factor. While the following is not a definitive list, the evidence-based components provided here are proven to show a high rate of success.

  • Data-driven Instruction
  • Curriculum Alignment (Horizontal and Vertical)
  • On-going Monitoring of Instruction

ESEA Turnaround Principle: Strengthen the School’s Instructional Program Strengthening the school’s instructional program based on student needs and ensuring that the instructional program is research-based, rigorous, and aligned with state academic content standards.


Web Pages


  • The Role of School Leaders in Turning Around the Lowest-Performing High Schools. This policy brief examines the limitations of past high school reforms and describes new approaches showing promise in producing changes in teaching and learning. It focuses on the central role of school leaders in creating learning environments that can engage and support all students. The brief concludes with a set of policy recommendations for the design of coherent systems to build human capital and foster the conditions for high school transformation.
  • Teachers: From Good to Great. This report helps to fill these gaps through a first-of-its-kind exploratory survey of National and State Teachers of the Year. The Authors offer insights on the professional experiences and supports that these teachers believe most contributed to their growth and eventual excellence as a teacher.


  • And What Do You Mean by Learning – Seymour B. Sarason
  • The Fourth Way: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change – Andrew Hargreaves and Dennis L. Shirley