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





of teachers say that PDAS allows appraisers to accurately assess teachers’ instructional performance.

of principals say that PDAS/MPDAS allows them to accurately assess teachers’ instructional performance.

of teachers say that the PDAS process helps them improve their instructional performance.


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

Source: Surveys of HISD teachers and principals.


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
Effective Teacher in Every Classroom

Effective Principal in Every School

Rigorous Instructional Standards &Supports

Data Driven Accountability

Culture of Trust through Action


Effective Teachers Initiative Vision: An effective teacher in every classroom, delivering high-quality instruction to all students.
Four Key Strategies
Individualized teacher support New career pathways

Smart recruitment

Useful appraisals

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, jobrelated behavior, including: 1. “Teachers' implementation of discipline management procedures”; and 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 Decision-Making Committees (SDMCs)

Submitted recommendations on appraisal criteria and process; More than 250 SDMCs participated in the design process

Working Groups (Teachers, Principals, Parents, HISD Staff)

Built rubrics and other tools needed to implement the new system

District Advisory Committee (DAC)

Developed final proposal for appraisal process and criteria based on recommendations from SDMCs and Working Groups

HISD Community and Stakeholders

Provided input on SDMC, DAC and working group recommendations throughout the 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 design process on a dedicated website that has logged more than 14,000 visits. HISD held three public meetings to gather feedback on the draft proposal.

HISD sent biweekly email updates on the process to all teachers and principals.

2,655 teachers and 282 appraisers completed an online survey on the draft proposal.
40 teachers and 18 principals participated in focus groups to help shape specific aspects of the draft proposal.

HISD read, logged, and responded to 1,100 questions and comments received by email and via the website.


Timeline of the Design Process

Sept. - Dec.

Dec. - Jan.

Feb. - Mar.

Apr. - May

SDMCs submit recommendations on the appraisal criteria and process
DAC begins building the draft proposal based on the SDMCs’ recommendations

Working groups begin developing tools/instruments
SDMCs submit additional recommendations DAC completes the draft proposal

Public comment period on the draft proposal
SDMCs and DAC revise recommendations based on feedback Working groups continue developing tools/instruments

Proposal for the new system presented to the Board of Education for approval Tools/instruments continually refined based on stakeholder input

In all, the final proposal represents input from…

2600+ 500+

Teachers School administrators

500+ 500+

Parents Other community 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.
Student Performance

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, measurable standards of professionalism

Instructional Practice

Professional Expectations

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 teachers with comprehensive feedback on their performance.
• Appraisers will conduct at least 2 classroom observations and at least 2 walkthroughs throughout the year, each followed by inperson/written feedback. • Teachers will work with appraisers to create an individualized development plan that identifies specific areas for professional growth and targeted learning activities to address them. • Appraisers will be held accountable for helping teachers meet their professional goals.

Conferences Formal meetings with appraiser to discuss performance, set goals, create and update development plan

Individualized Development Learning activities informed by development plan

Appraisal and Development Cycle

Self-Reflection Reflect on performance, student progress, and professional goals

Ongoing Feedback Observations and walkthroughs followed by formal and informal feedback on teaching


Proposed Appraisal and Development Timeline
Sept: Beginning-of-Year Conference • Discuss prior year’s outcomes • Set student learning measures and professional goals • Create an individualized development plan Dec – Jan: Mid-Year Conference Between Conferences: Continuous Feedback and Individualized Development

• Comprehensive feedback on performance, to date
• Adjust goals and update development plan as necessary

• Multiple required classroom observations (unannounced) of varying lengths, followed by formal feedback
• Individualized professional development activities based on the development plan • Ongoing, informal feedback based on additional observations and review of student data • Self-reflection

Apr – May: End-of-Year Conference • Comprehensive feedback on performance, to date • Final performance rating, to date • Set preliminary goals for next year


The proposed new system makes major improvements over PDAS.
Current System (PDAS/MPDAS) Some teachers go years between observations Proposed New System All teachers observed and appraised every year

Appraisals don’t include evidence of individual teacher’s contribution to student learning Requires at least one observation, but a waiver under MPDAS allows teachers to go several years without a formal observation; Feedback not required after all observations One conference between teachers and appraisers each year (to discuss summative rating)

Appraisals include multiple measures of student learning, along with ratings in two other major categories Teachers receive at least two observations and at least two shorter walkthroughs each year—all followed by feedback

Three conferences between teachers and appraisers each year to discuss teacher performance and plan for development All teachers receive an individualized professional development plan based on specific needs identified by the appraisal process
Appraisers held accountable for accuracy of evaluations and success in helping teachers grow professionally; Intensive training and additional support for principals throughout the year

Professional development is not directly aligned with the outcomes of a teacher’s appraisal
Limited accountability and support for appraisers for conducting accurate evaluations or helping teachers improve

Criteria in Focus: Instructional Practice


Instructional Practice

Reflects a teacher’s skills and knowledge that help drive student 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


Professional Expectations

Reflects a core set of objective, measurable professional 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 learning.


Student Performance

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 data • 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 curriculum

Criteria in Focus: Student Performance (continued) Five Types of Student Learning Measures
1) Value-added growth (e.g., EVAAS)

2) Comparative growth on district-wide EOC/EOY assessments

Description A district-rated measure of the extent to which students’ average growth meets, exceeds, or falls short of average growth. The District has contracted with SAS EVAAS to calculate Value-added growth. A district-rated measure of the extent to which students achieve an ambitious but feasible amount of growth as determined by benchmark scores for similar students.

3) Students’ progress on district- An appraiser-rated measure of the extent to which students learned an ambitious and feasible amount of content and wide or appraiser-approved skills, taking into account students’ starting points. EOC/EOY assessments An appraiser-rated measure of the extent to which students 4) Students’ progress using learned an ambitious and feasible amount of content and culminating, EOC/EOY skills, taking into account students’ starting points. performance tasks/work products 5) Students’ attainment on an appraiser-approved or districtwide EOC/EOY assessment An appraiser-rated measure of the proportion of students who performed at a target level, regardless of their starting 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 summative ratings: Ineffective, Needs Improvement, Effective or Highly Effective. • The proposed system uses a lookup table instead of a one-size-fits-all formula to determine summative ratings.
Instructional Practice X Professional Expectations 1 2 3 4

Student Performance 1 I I NI NI 2 I NI NI E 3 NI E E E 4 NI E HE HE

• 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 teachers.


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 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 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 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 resources.

For students For teachers

For taxpayers



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 www.HISDeffectiveteachers.org.