For three days this week, teachers from across the district gathered for training on the Teacher Excellence Initiative, the district’s innovative pay-for-performance teacher evaluation system.
These teachers, known as TEI campus experts, then train the teachers at their schools on TEI and provide related updates to their campus throughout the year. But, equally important, the TEI campus experts continually provide feedback to district administrators on what is working—and what isn’t—with TEI.
“Teachers have helped shape the formation and continual improvement of this evaluation system, and their feedback is invaluable as we continue to improve TEI in the upcoming year,” TEI Director Lindsay Coshatt said.
Kailee McCall, a teacher at Thelma Richardson Elementary, and Daniel Miller, a teacher at Lassiter Early College High School, are going into their second year as TEI experts. They said TEI campus experts made decisions last year that led to fewer spot observations, longer contracts, and a simplified Student Learning Objective, which is a part of the student achievement component of a teacher’s annual evaluation.
“It’s a really good feeling knowing that improvements to TEI aren’t coming from above, they are coming from us,” McCall said.
Coshatt said the district has sought feedback from teachers on what later became TEI as far back as 2011. For the 2015-16 school year, there are approximately 500 TEI campus experts, with at least two coming from each Dallas ISD school.
“Nobody knows better about what will work inside in our classrooms than our teachers,”Coshatt said. “Without our TEI campus experts, TEI simply would not work.”
Below are some facts TEI campus experts said they recently shared with fellow teachers at their schools:
- Teachers will receive their 2014–15 evaluation results in September;
- Teachers who receive a salary increase as a result of their evaluations will see that compensation increase starting in October;
- $5,000 is the maximum salary increase a teacher will see this year as a result of their effectiveness level;
- No teachers will see a salary decrease this year as a result of their effectiveness level.