Posts Tagged ‘Teacher Evaluation and Support System’

Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS)

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

AUTHOR: Lauralee Pankonien, Sr Coordinator: Certification Administration

Although change seems to be a constant in public education, it is rare that a new initiative reaches most Texas classrooms in the same school year. We are on the cusp of that unusual occurrence as the new Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) will be rolled out for initial implementation during the 2016-2017 school year. Thousands of administrators and teachers across the state will receive training in this new system over the next months. The great majority of Texas teachers appraised during the 2016-2017 school year, regardless of content area, grade level, specialization, experience level, rural/suburban/urban assignment, or student population served will be evaluated based on the T-TESS standards-driven rubric.

The introduction of this system will create unprecedented opportunities for statewide school improvement. T-TESS is designed to acknowledge the responsibility of every educator to consistently hold themselves to a high standard for individual development and performance and to support each teacher in those efforts. On campuses where the evaluation process truly leads to improved instruction and student performance, continuous improvement is an accepted norm and teams establish structures to support a community of learners. The comprehensive T-TESS rubric includes specific dimensions, descriptors and performance levels. An in-depth understanding of how their performance will be measured using this rubric is essential for teachers to thoroughly engage in T-TESS. The T-TESS Rubric includes four domains.

Four Domains of the T-TESS Rubric

Planning
  • Standards and Alignment
  • Data and Assessments
  • Knowledge of Students
  • Activities
Instruction
  • Achieving Expectations
  • Content Knowledge and Expertise
  • Communication
  • Differentiation
  • Monitor and Adjust
Learning Environment
  • Classroom Environment, Routines and Procedures
  • Managing Student Behavior
  • Classroom Culture
Professional Practices and Responsibilities
  • Professional Demeanor and Ethics
  • Goal Setting
  • Professional Development
  • School Community Involvement

T-TESS implementation involves multiple points of communication between the appraiser and the teacher: Collaborative Goal Setting for the teacher to establish measurable individual professional growth targets; Pre-Conference meeting prior to a formal classroom lesson observation; Post-Observation feedback conference, and End-of-Year summary of annual progress. There are standard protocols for T-TESS Post-Observation Conferences. Every teacher receives feedback on an area of demonstrated strength, or Reinforcement, and an area to target for improvement, or Refinement. The system is designed to formalize what highly effective teachers do, and support all teachers in developing habits of self-assessment, reflection, and adjustment through the creation of collaborative, relational, supportive cultures in which educators receive timely, formative, and ongoing feedback through a series of communication points and conferences throughout the school year.

With T-TESS, clearly school leaders will be investing more time engaged in meaningful conversations with teachers focused on improving instruction. These important interactions provide each campus an opportunity to leverage the appraisal process in order to create a growth mindset that is deeply embedded in the school.