RELEASE: Denver Public Schools’ Tiered Support Framework Is Improving Student Outcomes

Washington, D.C. — The Center for American Progress released a new report exploring how Denver Public Schools (DPS) is utilizing a school improvement and support system, known as the Tiered Support Framework (TSF), to provide resources to all schools while targeting resources to those demonstrating the greatest need. The analysis suggests that the TSF may be a promising example for other districts looking to boost student outcomes. Specifically, the report finds:

  • In recent years, all DPS schools—including both higher- and lower-performing schools—showed greater growth than the rest of the state, particularly in math.
  • When controlling for school demographics, students in DPS schools receiving more rigorous supports showed comparable gains in English language arts and math relative to students in higher-performing DPS schools.
  • DPS elementary schools receiving moderate and substantial support showed greater schoolwide gains—in addition to greater gains for Hispanic students and students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—as compared to similar Colorado schools.
  • When compared with peer schools, however, DPS elementary schools receiving moderate or intensive supports had larger achievement gaps between students who were and were not eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

“There’s always a tension between supporting all schools and targeting resources to the schools with the greatest needs, but what Denver Public Schools’ Tiered Support Framework is showing is that there is a way to improve outcomes at all types of schools by using this model,” said Samantha Batel, author of the report.

Please click here to read “Improving All Schools: An Analysis of Denver Public Schools” by Samantha Batel.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.