Instructional Coherence: A Key to High-Quality Learning Acceleration for All Students

Use this guide to check that every component of a student’s academic experience supports grade-level instruction and learning acceleration.

Instructional coherence is the secret sauce in a high-quality education. It has been shown to be more effective for student achievement than a wide variety of uncoordinated programs that are limited in scope or duration. (See “Instructional Program Coherence: What It Is and Why It Should Guide School Improvement Policy,” 2001). When curriculum, instruction, assessment, and learning climate work in concert, it deepens and strengthens a student’s experience.

This guide is designed to help system leaders bring coherence to instructional programs that accelerate learning for all students. Building on our work in Learning Acceleration for All, it’s filled with practical advice, including questions to ask, classroom examples, and common pitfalls to avoid. When we emphasize instructional coherence, we take an important step to address learning gaps and we offer a more equitable experience for students who need it the most.

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Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

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