Dallas ISD is committed to involving those for whom the Teacher Excellence Initiative was designed – the teacher. Also known as TEI, the plan is the district’s new system to identify, support and strategically compensate effective teachers.
During its development, the plan received a high level of interest and teachers were given the opportunity to have an active voice in the process. Teachers such as Jacqueline Martinez asked her fellow educators to give the system a chance.
Now that the plan is in full motion, teachers continue to play an active role. Nearly 500 teachers (two or three per campus) were identified by campus leaders to serve as TEI experts to disseminate TEI information on campus, provide ongoing input, and make decisions to continually improve the system. After each meeting, TEI experts share the information with their campus colleagues and solicit additional feedback. Teacher input helps shape the direction of the new, one-of-a-kind system.
Jerry Hayes, a TEI expert at the William B. Travis Vanguard & Academy, said having teachers play a role in the process is making a difference. “We have relayed to the administration the questions and concerns that have been brought to us and I have seen that it has actually had an impact on the process,” he said. “It is good to feel that we can have a voice and are heard.”
TEI comprises three components – teacher performance, student achievement and student surveys. Most recently, the experts were asked to give their input as to when the student survey should be administered.
Dallas ISD is making a strong statement to employees and prospective employees: the district will pay competitive salaries to recruit and retain high-performing, effective teachers. By investing in people, the district reinforces its commitment to ensure that all students are college- and career-ready.