Framework for Great Schools


The New York City Department of Education is committed to working collaboratively with parents, families, educators, and communities to improve student achievement, and ensure that every child graduates from high school prepared for college, a career, and a future as a productive adult.

Effective School Leadership

The principal sets the tone for the school, develops a climate of inclusiveness, and inspires staff and students with a clear vision for student achievement.

Collaborative Teachers

Quality instruction is the strongest influence on student achievement. To create quality teachers, we will ensure staff have opportunities to develop, grow, and learn from peers and experts.

Rigorous Instruction

A successful classroom requires a strong curriculum—aligned to the Common Core— that challenges students, scaffolds their experience, and is enlivened by teachers who are engaged with their craft.

Supportive Environment

Schools will build communities in which students are excited to learn, actively engaged, and met at their level in classrooms that are welcoming, safe, and orderly.

Strong Family-Community Ties

Schools will create welcoming environments for families and take advantage of community resources to enrich the civic life of the school.


We affirm that relationships between all members of the school community— including administrators, educators, students and families—are based on social respect, personal regard, and integrity.

At the center of the Framework is student achievement. The core goal of education is to help students get to the next level and succeed. Surrounding that core are the three elements of student support: instructional guidance, teacher empowerment, and student-centered learning. Beyond the classroom, the supports needed are effective school leadership and strong parent-community collaboration. The element that ties all of these supports together is trust. Building trust across the system and within a school—between administrators, educators, students, and families—is the foundation of the Framework for Great Schools. Read about the research behind the Framework and the connection to the DOE's accountability system.

Download a PDF of this information.

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For guidance on applying the Framework for Great Schools, see A Vision for School Improvement and these supporting resources and activities.