High Quality Instruction

High-quality instruction (curriculum, instruction and assessment) is:

Curriculum, instruction, and assessment that are grounded in the culturally responsive practices of relevance, identity, belonging and community will serve to best engage all students. High-quality curriculum and instruction should be culturally appropriate for the students being served and prepare all students for a multicultural world.

Connecting Instruction to Standards

All students should receive high-quality, culturally responsive universal academic and behavioral instruction that is differentiated for student need and aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics and English language arts and other state and local standards. Standards assist in providing consistent grade-level benchmarks.

Wisconsin’s Approach to Academic Standards

Go to DPI's academic standards website for more information.

Ensuring a Process for Student Success

To ensure that every child in Wisconsin graduates prepared for college and career, schools need to provide high quality instruction, balanced assessment and collaboration reflective of culturally responsive practices. The Wisconsin Response to Intervention (RtI) framework helps to organize the components of a system designed to support student learning. Below, the three essential elements of high quality instruction, balanced assessment and collaboration interact within a multi-level system of support to ensure each student receives what he or she needs to access higher levels of academic and behavioral success.  At the school or district level, programs, initiatives and practices related to high quality instruction, balanced assessment and collaboration can be more powerful when organized or braided to function systemically to support all students. The focus must be on a comprehensive approach to student learning.

Connecting to Content:  The Common Core State Standards

Within this vision for increased student success, rigorous, internationally benchmarked academic standards provide the content for high quality curriculum and instruction, and for a balanced assessment system aligned to those standards. With the adoption of the CCSS, Wisconsin has the tools to build world-class curriculum, instruction and assessments for greater student learning. The CCSS articulate what we teach so that educators can focus on how instruction can best meet the needs of each student. When implemented within a multi-level system of support, the CCSS can help to ensure that every child will graduate prepared for college, work and a meaningful life.To assist Wisconsin education stakeholders in understanding and implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has developed guidance to be used along with the CCSS. These materials are intended to provide further direction and should not be viewed as administrative rule. These publications provide a vision for student success, guiding principles for teaching and learning, and locates the standards within a multi-level system of support where high quality instruction, balanced assessment, and collaboration function together for student learning. Information on the design and content of the CCSS is included, as is a guide to assist with facilitating local conversations about these internationally-benchmarked standards and how they impact instruction

High Quality Instruction: A Pre-Cursor to Interventions

Committing to high quality instruction should cause your school or district to evaluate its approach to interventions.  Before interventions for small groups or individual students are implemented, there should be data from multiple sources that indicate that high quality instruction is happening for most of your students at the universal level.  An example of this process may be in reviewing student achievement data, you may discover that a group of students is not meeting certain learning targets.  Curricular adjustments should be made before considering additional support. 

Once high quality instruction is established at the universal level, additional support from the classroom teacher and specialists should be offered as a supplementary intervention options before considering a special education referral. Referrals to special education should be considered when formal data demonstrates that a student is not responding or making progress to high quality instruction and scientific, research-based interventions.

Educators must be vigilant in assuring that student achievement data collected can prove that the instruction is of high quality and matches student needs. Additionally, data needs to be gathered to show that a majority of the students are doing well in the instruction. This means looking at data in different ways, such as “disaggregated groups,” to ensure the instruction is high quality for all, not just specific groups of students.