District teachers to weigh in on ACE plan, spot observations

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A group of nearly 500 Dallas ISD teachers will gather tonight to review and weigh in on several district initiatives, including the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) plan that the district launched last week.

The teachers known as Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) campus experts will weigh in on retention bonuses and stipends offered to DTR-eligible teachers who serve on the six ACE campuses. The ACE plan aims to equip campuses where students are struggling academically with strong leaders and teams of highly effective teachers.

TEI campus experts will also provide input on the proposed changes for the 2015–16 school year regarding spot observations. The district is considering whether to reduce spot observations for Proficient I and distinguished teachers.

TEI Director Lindsay Coshatt said the TEI Experts provide valuable input and guidance on TEI, the district’s new evaluation system that identifies and rewards teacher effectiveness. The ACE plan and spot observations are rooted in TEI.

“TEI is a continuous improvement model, so the teachers help shape some decisions as we look to continuously improve the evaluation system throughout the year,” Coshatt said. “The teachers are the ones being evaluated by TEI, so we want to make sure their voices are heard and that it is a fair and rigorous evaluation system.”

The district held six TEI expert sessions this year. Tonight’s session is the final of the year.

At previous meetings this school year, the TEI experts helped decide when schools should administer the student perception survey, an appropriate compensation level for teachers, and eliminating elementary specials ACPs.

Superintendent Mike Miles says that the TEI Experts have played a pivotal role in the rollout of the new evaluation system.

“This group has been vital in helping steer the course for how TEI is implemented across the district,” he said. “The success of the implementation of TEI would not have been as smooth without the valuable feedback these teachers have provided and we are looking forward to continuing to work with this group into the future as TEI continues to grow and mature as a system.”

Principals nominate TEI Experts to represent their school and will submit the names of their teachers that will serve as the 2015–16 TEI experts by mid-May.

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