High Expectations & Rigorous Instruction

High expectations and rigorous instruction prepare the community for rigor and independent learning. The environment is academically rigorous and intellectually challenging, while also considering the different ways students learn. Instruction includes opportunities to use critical reasoning, take academic risks, and leverage a growth mindset to learn from mistakes. Messages encourage positive self-image and empower others to succeed.


Like the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining (CR-S) Framework, the MTSS  framework also supports high expectations and rigorous instruction. High expectations for academic outcomes include standards designed to ensure students are college- and career-ready (Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards), while robust, pro-social behavioral expectations for students are co-created with student voice. 


 female high school student raising hand


The MTSS  framework allows schools and districts the autonomy to set high expectations for their students and choose from a variety of evidence-based instructional strategies to engage and teach students. Through MTSS:


  • Tier 1 of the behavioral core builds citizenship by explicitly teaching expectations and skills like collaboration, considering others’ views, and leadership. Additionally, students are invited to participate in the building of the behavioral core by suggesting expectations and problem solving issues
  • Data is regularly reviewed and used to make decisions that enable students to meet high expectations. Data analysis protocols demonstrate “high expectations and deliver rigorous instruction for all students regardless of identity markers, including race, gender, sexual orientation, language, ability, and economic background” (p. 27). This data continually drives an improvement plan to build a responsive continuum to support all students. Additionally, data is disaggregated by subgroup to ensure schools are meeting high expectations for all students and closing gaps.
  • Schools and districts are shown how to find and implement research-based instructional practices to support students, including specific subgroups. Educators learn where to turn for these sources and how to become critical consumers of available information.


1 From the New York State Education Department. Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework. Internet. Available from http://www.nysed.gov/crs/framework; accessed 1 February 2020.


Last modified: Thursday, February 13, 2020, 9:47 AM