Synchronous Sessions



3 Months



Through this course, candidates will learn how almost all meaningful efforts to improve equity and excellence include efforts to improve curriculum and instruction. In this course, candidates will consider how curriculum and instruction might be improved in ways that accelerate the attainment of the EEP target. Candidates will engage their colleagues in taking stock of curricular and/or instructional practices that might contribute to inequitable outcomes for some groups of students. Based on the information acquired, candidates will identify one powerful practice they will promote in ways that advance progress toward the EEP target. Candidates will also support stakeholders in designing, implementing, and refining plans in ways that are most likely to result in the continuous improvement of the specific practices they commit to addressing.


  • Each candidate will take stock of curriculum and instruction in their school to determine how practices might best be improved to accelerate the attainment of the EEP target.
  • Each candidate will select and implement one powerful practice that will advance the attainment of the EEP target.
  • Each candidate will design, implement, and refine plans in ways that are most likely to result in the continuous improvement of the practices they commit to addressing.


  1. Establish the Why: NCUST History
  2. Establish the What: 8 Teaching Practices and 4 Leadership Challenges
  3. Establish the How: Designing your Equity and Excellence Project (EEP)
  • The Equity and Excellence Project is a comprehensive initiative aimed at addressing disparities.
  • NCUST’s mission is to help districts and their partners transform schools into places where all students achieve academic proficiency, evidence a love of learning, and graduate well prepared to succeed in post-secondary education, the workplace, and their communities.
  • NCUST found three tightly related characteristics in the high-performing urban schools studied: a positive transformational culture for all students and all adults at the school, access to challenging curricula for all students, and effective, engaging instruction that leads all students to understanding and mastery.
What learning and/or achievement gaps exist at your school?


Understanding Teaching Practices
  • Making Students Feel Valued and Capable
  • Focusing on Understanding and Mastery
  • Promoting Clarity
  • Ensuring Culturally, Socially, and Personally Responsive Teaching
  • The SMARTER framework underscores the importance of continuous assessment and adaptation, allowing for greater flexibility in the pursuit of goals.
  • The heart of effective teaching efforts in high-performing schools, NCUST saw practices that resulted in students feeling valued, capable, and loved. 
  • Without a positive transformational culture, other improvement efforts are built on quicksand.  If certain groups of students or teachers do not perceive that they are welcome, appreciated, respected, and valued, they will not engage in ways that are essential to the attainment of equitable and excellent learning results.
What specific goal, if accomplished, can eliminate the learning disparities at my school?


Understanding Teaching Practices 
  • Checking Understanding Providing Feedback, and Adapting
  • Building Fluency with Gatekeeper Vocabulary
  • Promoting Successful Practice
  • Leading Students to Love Learning
  • The most important lesson to be learned from NCUST’s studies of high-performing urban schools is that success is attainable. Typical schools, with significant challenges, can achieve substantial improvements in teaching that yield remarkable gains in learning.
  • Generating consistent school-wide change in teaching takes substantial time, effort, courage, and risk.  Success comes from practices that are implemented each day and systems that promote the refinement of those practices over time. 
  • Individuals may sincerely want to change their practices; however, systems are often not designed to support the desired changes.  In some cases, systems may work in ways that frustrate change efforts.
How do I develop the best teaching practices throughout a school?


Concourse Village Elementary School
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