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Effective Teachers Initiative: Designing a New

Teacher Appraisal & Development System

Board Workshop
April 7, 2011

HISD Executive Sponsors:

Julie Baker, Chief Major Projects Officer
Ann Best, Chief Human Resources Officer

The Need for a Better Appraisal and Development System

Overview of the Design Process

The Proposed New System

Plan for Implementation

Our teachers and principals have made it clear that PDAS does not
meet their needs.

Results: 2010 Survey of 6,279 HISD Teachers and 144 HISD Principals

44% 28% 51% 43%

of teachers say that of principals say that of teachers say

PDAS allows PDAS/MPDAS that the PDAS
appraisers to allows them to process helps
accurately assess accurately assess them improve
teachers’ teachers’ their
instructional instructional instructional
performance. performance. performance.

*The response rate for teachers surveyed was 55%, and the response rate for principals surveyed was 56%.

Source: Surveys of HISD teachers and principals. 3

Ensuring that there is an effective teacher in every classroom is a
critical part of HISD’s Strategic Direction.

Board of Education
Goals for HISD from the
Declaration of Beliefs and Visions

1 2 3 4 5

Effective Effective Rigorous Data Culture

Teacher Principal Instructional Driven of Trust
in Every in Every Standards Account- through
Classroom School &Supports ability Action

Effective Teachers Initiative Vision: An effective teacher in every
classroom, delivering high-quality instruction to all students.

Four Key Strategies

Individualized New career

Smart recruitment Useful appraisals
teacher support pathways

Effective Instruction In All Classrooms

Improved Student Learning Outcomes


The Need for a Better Appraisal and Development System

Overview of the Design Process

The Proposed New System

Planning for Implementation

Texas State Education Code gives specific guidance for local school
districts developing their own appraisal systems.

DNA (LOCAL) is the district’s policy on its teacher appraisal and development
system. It requires the adoption of a revised policy on the appraisal process and
criteria. Texas State Education Code requires that:

Teacher performance appraisal criteria must be based on observable, job-

 related behavior, including:
1. “Teachers' implementation of discipline management procedures”;
2. “The performance of teachers' students.”

If a district does not utilize the state’s recommended system, it must use an
 appraisal process and performance criteria that:
1. Is “developed by the district- and campus-level committees”
established under state code;
2. Contains teachers’ implementation of discipline management
procedures and the performance of teachers’ students; and
3. Is adopted by the board of trustees.

“The board of trustees may reject an appraisal process and performance

 criteria developed by the district- and campus-level committees but may
not modify the process or criteria.”
From Texas State Education Code Chapter 21, Sub-Chapter H, Sections 351(a)(1)(2), 352(a) and 352(b).
Teachers, principals and other stakeholders have led a six-month
effort to design a new appraisal and development system.

School-based Shared Submitted recommendations on appraisal

Decision-Making criteria and process; More than 250 SDMCs
Committees (SDMCs) participated in the design process

Working Groups
Built rubrics and other tools needed to
(Teachers, Principals,
implement the new system
Parents, HISD Staff)

Developed final proposal for appraisal process

District Advisory
and criteria based on recommendations from
Committee (DAC)
SDMCs and Working Groups

Provided input on SDMC, DAC and working

HISD Community
group recommendations throughout the
and Stakeholders
design process

Collaboration and transparency were top priorities in the design
process. HISD actively sought feedback from the entire community.

Community Engagement During the Design Process

HISD posted all materials from the HISD held three public meetings
design process on a dedicated to gather feedback on the draft
website that has logged more than proposal.
14,000 visits.
HISD sent biweekly email updates 2,655 teachers and 282 appraisers
on the process to all teachers and  completed an online survey on the
draft proposal.
HISD read, logged, and responded 40 teachers and 18 principals
 to 1,100 questions and comments
received by email and via the
 participated in focus groups to
help shape specific aspects of the
website. draft proposal.

Timeline of the Design Process

Sept. - Dec. Dec. - Jan. Feb. - Mar. Apr. - May

SDMCs submit Working groups Public comment Proposal for the new
recommendations begin developing period on the draft system presented to
on the appraisal tools/instruments proposal the
criteria and process Board of Education
SDMCs submit SDMCs and DAC for approval
DAC begins additional revise
building the draft recommendations recommendations Tools/instruments
proposal based on based on feedback continually refined
the SDMCs’ DAC completes the based on
recommendations draft proposal Working groups stakeholder input
continue developing

In all, the final proposal represents input from…

2600+ Teachers 500+ Parents

School Other community

500+ administrators 500+ members

The Need for a Better Appraisal and Development System

Overview of the Design Process

The Proposed New System

Planning for Implementation

The proposed system will paint a complete picture of each teacher’s
performance based on multiple measures in three performance criteria.

Three Major Performance Criteria
Student Performance: Teacher’s
impact on student learning

Instructional Practice: Teacher’s

skills and knowledge that help
promote student learning
Professional Expectations:
Teacher’s efforts to meet objective,
Professional measurable standards of
Expectations professionalism

Teachers will be evaluated based on multiple measures in each performance

criterion. The scores in the three criteria will combine into an overall rating of
Ineffective, Needs Improvement, Effective, or Highly Effective.

The proposed system is designed to give all teachers the regular
feedback and individualized support they deserve as professionals.

Focus on Feedback and Development

• Three teacher/appraiser
conferences each year will provide Conferences Individualized
teachers with comprehensive Formal meetings with Development
feedback on their performance. appraiser to discuss Learning activities
performance, set goals, informed by
• Appraisers will conduct at least 2
create and update development plan
classroom observations and at least
development plan
2 walkthroughs throughout the
year, each followed by in-
person/written feedback.
Appraisal and Development Cycle
• Teachers will work with appraisers
to create an individualized
development plan that identifies
specific areas for professional
Self-Reflection Ongoing Feedback
growth and targeted learning
Reflect on performance, Observations and
activities to address them.
student progress, and walkthroughs followed by
• Appraisers will be held professional goals formal and informal
accountable for helping teachers feedback on teaching
meet their professional goals.

Proposed Appraisal and Development Timeline

Sept: Beginning-of-Year Conference

• Discuss prior year’s outcomes
• Set student learning measures and
professional goals
Between Conferences:
• Create an individualized
Continuous Feedback and
development plan
Individualized Development
• Multiple required classroom
Dec – Jan: Mid-Year Conference observations (unannounced) of
• Comprehensive feedback on varying lengths, followed by
performance, to date formal feedback
• Adjust goals and update • Individualized professional
development plan as necessary development activities based on
the development plan
• Ongoing, informal feedback based
Apr – May: End-of-Year Conference on additional observations and
• Comprehensive feedback on review of student data
performance, to date • Self-reflection
• Final performance rating, to date
• Set preliminary goals for next year
The proposed new system makes major improvements over PDAS.

Current System (PDAS/MPDAS) Proposed New System

Some teachers go years between observations All teachers observed and appraised every year

Appraisals don’t include evidence of individual Appraisals include multiple measures of student
teacher’s contribution to student learning learning, along with ratings in two other major
Requires at least one observation, but a waiver Teachers receive at least two observations and at
under MPDAS allows teachers to go several years least two shorter walkthroughs each year—all
without a formal observation; Feedback not followed by feedback
required after all observations
One conference between teachers and appraisers Three conferences between teachers and
each year (to discuss summative rating) appraisers each year to discuss teacher
performance and plan for development

Professional development is not directly aligned All teachers receive an individualized professional
with the outcomes of a teacher’s appraisal development plan based on specific needs
identified by the appraisal process
Limited accountability and support for appraisers Appraisers held accountable for accuracy of
for conducting accurate evaluations or helping evaluations and success in helping teachers grow
teachers improve professionally; Intensive training and additional
support for principals throughout the year
Criteria in Focus: Instructional Practice

Instructional Reflects a teacher’s skills and

1 knowledge that help drive student
Practice learning in the classroom.

Types of Criteria
• Instruction (such as, checks for student understanding and responds to
student misunderstanding, maximizes instructional time)
• Planning (such as, develops student learning goals, designs effective lesson
plans, units, and assessments)

Sources of Evidence
Such as classroom observations, planning documents, daily interactions with the
teacher, and reviews of certain documents and artifacts (such as, lesson plans,
classroom management plans, grade books, portfolio of student work, etc.).
Appraisers will have the flexibility to use any sources of evidence collected
throughout the course of the year that reflect the criteria. Teachers can also
provide additional sources of evidence that they want to inform their appraisal.

Criteria in Focus: Professional Expectations

Reflects a core set of objective,

Professional measurable professional
2 expectations for teachers.
Types of Criteria
• Professionalism (such as, complies with policies and procedures at school,
collaborates with colleagues)

Sources of Evidence
Such as classroom observations, planning documents, daily interactions with the
teacher, and reviews of certain documents and artifacts (such as parent
communication logs, sign-in sheets for PLCs, agendas and minutes from team
meetings, teacher attendance records).

Criteria in Focus: Student Performance

Reflects a teacher’s impact on

Student student learning.
Guiding Principles (Selected)
• Multiple measures of student learning for all teachers; all teachers will have at
least two measures of student learning included in their appraisal
• No teacher’s measures of student learning will be based solely on value-added
• Specific measures will vary based on the teacher’s subject and grade, with the
most accurate and fair measures used for each subject and grade
• Wherever possible and reasonable, measures will be growth- or progress-based
measures of student learning
• All measures will be based on end-of-course or end-of-year assessments;
formative assessment will not be used for appraisal purposes
• All assessments used to measure student learning for the purposes of appraisal
must meet specific standards around sufficient “stretch” and alignment to

Criteria in Focus: Student Performance (continued)

Five Types of Student Learning Measures

Measure Description
1) Value-added growth (e.g., A district-rated measure of the extent to which students’
EVAAS) average growth meets, exceeds, or falls short of average
growth. The District has contracted with SAS EVAAS to
calculate Value-added growth.
2) Comparative growth on A district-rated measure of the extent to which students
district-wide EOC/EOY achieve an ambitious but feasible amount of growth as
assessments determined by benchmark scores for similar students.

3) Students’ progress on district- An appraiser-rated measure of the extent to which students

wide or appraiser-approved learned an ambitious and feasible amount of content and
EOC/EOY assessments skills, taking into account students’ starting points.

4) Students’ progress using An appraiser-rated measure of the extent to which students

culminating, EOC/EOY learned an ambitious and feasible amount of content and
performance tasks/work skills, taking into account students’ starting points.
5) Students’ attainment on an An appraiser-rated measure of the proportion of students
appraiser-approved or district- who performed at a target level, regardless of their starting
wide EOC/EOY assessment points.

Appraisers will use a simple lookup table to combine scores in the
three categories into a single overall rating.

Determining Summative Ratings

• Teachers will earn one of four

Student Performance
summative ratings: Ineffective,
Needs Improvement, Effective or
1 2 3 4
Highly Effective.
• The proposed system uses a lookup

Professional Expectations

Instructional Practice X
table instead of a one-size-fits-all
formula to determine summative 2 I NI E E
• The lookup table makes the system
more transparent and accessible
than using percentage weights, since
teachers can easily see what their
rating would be based on a particular
combination of scores in the three
criteria categories.

Under the proposed system, each teacher will have one individual
responsible for his/her appraisal and development.

Appraiser Role and Responsibilities:

• Individuals currently permitted to appraise in HISD

• Conducts all required observations and conferences
• Provides written and verbal feedback
• Responsible for ensuring access to development opportunities
• Reviews all available sources of evidence to determine a
summative rating for each teacher

 All appraisers must be trained and receive certification by HISD in

implementing the new system.

 HISD is currently designing a new appraisal system for school

leaders (appraisers) that will align to this new proposed system for

The collaborative design process has resulted in a proposed new
system that is good for students, teachers, and taxpayers.

Benefits of the Proposed New Appraisal and Development System

The proposed system will help ensure that all students

For students learn from effective teachers every day—which will
significantly raise student achievement.

The proposed system will give teachers the regular,

accurate feedback they deserve as professionals, and
For teachers will connect them with individualized support that
helps them do their best work in the classroom.

The proposed system will help HISD identify and hold

For taxpayers onto its best teachers and raise the quality of all
teaching—which is more important than ever at a time
when HISD is going to have to do more with fewer


The Need for a Better Appraisal and Development System

Overview of the Design Process

The Proposed New System

Planning for Implementation

HISD has laid the groundwork in planning for successful, district-wide
implementation of the new system.

Training and Support

 Intensive summer training and credentialing of appraisers
 Regular, structured support for appraisers throughout the school year
 Standardized protocols and forms
 Professional Development office reorganization, including creation of the
Teacher Development Specialist role
 Training for teachers

Continuous Improvement of the System

 Ongoing feedback from key stakeholders for system improvements
• Continued outreach to SDMCs and DAC for feedback
• Continued use of e-mail updates and dedicated website to collect teachers’
and appraisers’ questions and feedback on the new system
• Teacher and principal surveys

Integrated Data and Technology Platform

 New performance management tools integrated into PeopleSoft
 Electronic data collection for monitoring and analysis
For more information, visit