UPDATED: Board hears progress on Teacher Excellence Initiative


Editor’s note: The video above is from the Dec. 4 presentation to the Board of Trustees regarding the Teacher Excellence Initiative

Original post: Dec. 4, 2014

The implementation of the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) continues to move forward as members of the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees received a progress report on Thursday, Dec. 4, on the district’s new teacher evaluation plan. The report highlighted the work district administrators and teachers have done during the past six months. The new system replaces the traditional career ladder pay scale and enables teachers to earn more in a shorter time frame.

During the presentation, trustees learned that more than 1,200 instructional leaders were trained and certified by district leaders to ensure teacher evaluations would be conducted in a fair, accurate and rigorous manner.

Chief of Human Capital Management Carmen Darville also detailed the amount of training teachers have received, including an August orientation for all teachers that featured a deep dive into the new TEI performance requirements. Looking to sharpen their skills, more than 5,000 teachers have taken advantage of the district’s teacher training and professional development sessions. Additionally, teachers made nearly 60,000 visits to Curriculum Central – the district’s online curriculum toolkit. These numbers reflect teachers’ interest in staying abreast of the plan’s progress and its potential impact on their careers.

Trustees were also briefed on how teachers have played a major role in the TEI implementation process. Nearly 500 teachers (two or three per campus) were identified to serve as TEI experts to disseminate information, provide input and make decisions to improve the system. After each meeting, TEI experts share the information with their campus colleagues and solicit additional feedback. Encouraging teacher input has proven to be a critical factor in continuously improving implementation during Year One.

The update also included a discussion of the Distinguished Teacher Review (DTR) process. In order to be eligible, teachers must meet certain requirements. The district projects approximately 1,400 teachers will be eligible to go through the DTR process this year.

Eligible teachers who submit an application will receive a review of their quality of instruction, leadership, lifelong learning and contributions to the profession. Teachers who undergo the DTR process will be notified in September 2015 of the outcome and will have their salaries adjusted accordingly.

Moving forward, district leaders will work to develop summer learning labs and specialized, yearlong academies aimed at helping teachers improve their effectiveness levels in future years and ultimately increase their salaries.

“We know this is version one and we will continue to seek ways to improve the new teacher evaluation system, said Superintendent Mike Miles. “At the end of the day, our teacher evaluation system is designed to put an effective teacher in front of every classroom.”

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