The Internal Coherence Framework

The Internal Coherence Framework Creating the Conditions for Continuous Improvement in Schools

Michelle L. Forman, Elizabeth Leisy Stosich, and Candice Bocala, Foreword by Richard F. Elmore
Paper, 272 Pages
Pub. Date: April 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-017-7
Price: 34.00

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Pub. Date: April 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-491-5

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The Internal Coherence Framework presents a system of research-based practices for assessing and developing the conditions that support adult and student learning in schools.


This book provides a compelling call to action for educators to focus improvement work on the ‘instructional core’: the interactions among students, teachers, and content in classrooms. Even more importantly, it marks a clear path for taking that action: how to mobilize teams to focus on the core and then sustain and deepen their efforts. I have already begun integrating key insights from The Internal Coherence Framework into my Data Wise courses. — Kathryn Parker Boudett, director of the Data Wise Project and lecturer on education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Gathering proven best practices, the authors articulate clear, actionable processes that create and sustain learning communities in pursuing lasting improvement in student achievement. Educational reform is not for the faint of heart: The Internal Coherence Framework makes it doable. — Michael Sorum, former deputy superintendent, Fort Worth Independent School District, Texas

The Internal Coherence Framework is a rare example of how to create an effective structure that can be applied to any school or district. It should be required reading for teachers and administrators. — Jeffrey C. Riley, superintendent and receiver, Lawrence Public Schools, Massachusetts

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Michelle Forman, EdD, works as a consultant helping educators develop internal coherence as a learning process to support teacher agency, organizational capacity, and ongoing improvements to teaching and learning. In this capacity, she has consulted with schools, districts, networks, leadership coaches, and other providers of professional learning. While completing her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Michelle served as the director of the Internal Coherence Research Project of the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP), at the Boston field site. Michelle received her doctorate with a concentration in leadership, policy, and instructional practice, and her research focused on tightening the relationship between teacher efficacy and the core work of schools. She is a contributing author to Data Wise in Action: Stories of Schools Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning. Previously, Michelle worked as a high school teacher in New York City; Oakland, California; and a small rural community in upstate New York. She holds an MA in English education from Teachers College and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Elizabeth Leisy Stosich, EdD, is a Research and Policy Fellow at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Elizabeth’s research focuses on the school conditions and learning opportunities that help teachers engage in ambitious instruction; this support included opportunities for teachers to use curriculum, assessments, and inquiry-based practices to meet the goals of standards-based accountability policies. Her research interests include school improvement, standards-based accountability policies, teacher collaboration, and teacher preparation and development. Previously, Elizabeth taught elementary school in Oakland and San Francisco. She received her BA in Spanish and Portuguese from University of California, Berkeley; an MA in teaching from the University of San Francisco; and an EdM in educational policy and an EdD in education policy, leadership, and instructional practice from Harvard University.

Candice Bocala, EdD, is a Senior Research Associate at WestEd and Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on the connections between educator learning and the organizational conditions that support collaboration and improvement. She has led and designed numerous professional learning workshops for educators as a senior team member of the Data Wise Project and the Internal Coherence Research Project. She is also committed to supporting educators with understanding issues related to racial and ethnic diversity and enacting pedagogical practices that promote equity. At WestEd, she serves as a program evaluator, researcher, and technical assistance provider to state and local education agencies. Candice received her EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and she holds an MAT from American University, an MA in policy analysis and evaluation from Stanford University, and a BA in government from Cornell University. Previously, she taught elementary school in Washington, DC.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard F. Elmore

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