Category Archives: appraisal/evaluation

ATPE submits input on T-TESS rules, steering committee members send letter

In public comments submitted today on the proposed Commissioner’s Rules implementing a new teacher appraisal system in Texas, ATPE encouraged newly appointed Commissioner of Education Mike Morath to delay implementation of the rules in order to address several concerns. ATPE expressed particular concern with provisions pushed by the Obama administration in exchange for Texas’s waiver from the burdensome and outdated policies under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), including compelling school districts to use standardized test scores as a measure of evaluating teachers on student growth.

ATPE highlights prominent research that questions the reliance on student standardized test scores (or the use of value-added modeling or VAM) as a measure of student growth and encourages the Texas Education Agency to omit the unproven measure. Such research questions the reliability of VAM for high-stakes decisions affecting educator appraisals, compensation, employment, and preparation program accountability. ATPE’s comments note research published by the American Statistical Association, which issues the following warnings:

  • “limitations are particularly relevant if VAMs are used for high-stakes purposes,”
  • “ranking teachers by their VAM scores can have unintended consequences that reduce quality,”
  • aside from test scores, VAMs “do not directly measure potential teacher contributions toward other student outcomes,”
  • “VAM scores and rankings can change substantially when a different model or test is used,” and
  • “effects – positive or negative – attributed to a teacher may actually be caused by other factors that are not captured in the model.”

In addition to citing research warning against the use of VAM, ATPE’s comments address several issues that make the use of VAM impractical, unnecessary, and harmful. Among them is the fact that only about 30 percent of Texas teachers will be evaluated on their students’ test scores since VAM can only measure teachers who teach subjects where a STAAR test is administered. “The potential harm created by this bifurcated system, where teachers of certain tested subjects would be isolated from the majority of their peers, is tremendous and will only serve to alienate teachers in tested subjects or discourage teachers from teaching those subjects.”

As we reported last week, today is the last day to submit comments on the proposed rules, which could be adopted as early as today and after adoption would go into effect on July 1. Among the comments submitted to the Commissioner is a letter authored by six ATPE members who served on two T-TESS steering committees that TEA convened to gather input on the development of the new teacher standards, evaluation system model, and proposed rules. The educators’ letter states: “We ask you to delay implementation in order to reconsider inclusion of value-added data as a means to measure student growth. We are proud that the inappropriate use of standardized tests in the public education system has been recognized and change is underway. Please help us continue that effort for the betterment of the 5 million school children across Texas.”

The group’s letter explains that they understood that the inclusion of VAM was a requirement of the waiver Texas had received from the Department of Education in exchange for needed flexibility under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). “At that time, we were willing to accept that our hands were tied and this was not a topic of debate.” However, the group notes, Texas was freed from waiver requirements last month when Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a new federal education law. Passage of the law negates the need for a waiver and returns the decision making on teacher evaluations to Texas and its local school districts. In light of that development, the group encourages Commissioner Morath “to eliminate the inclusion of value-added data or student standardized assessment results as a means for measuring student growth under T-TESS.”

Both ATPE and members of the steering committees encouraged Commissioner Morath to delay implementation in order to address the piece allowing the use of value-added data, or state standardized test scores, as a measure of a teacher’s performance. Read ATPE’s full comments and the letter from members of the steering committees to learn more.

Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: Jan. 8, 2016

It’s a new year with many changes in store for public education. Here’s the latest news:


Monday, Jan. 11, is the deadline for public comments to be submitted on proposed Commissioner’s Rules to implement a new teacher evaluation system in Texas known as T-TESS. Former Commissioner of Education Michael Williams proposed the draft rules for a replacement to the PDAS shortly before Christmas. If adopted, the rules would take effect as of July 1, 2016.

ATPE and others are asking the new commissioner to consider delaying the adoption of the rules to allow time for reconsideration of some aspects of the new system. Specifically, T-TESS calls for at least 20 percent of a teacher’s appraisal to be based on student growth measures; for teachers of tested grades and subjects, the growth measure will be calculated using value-added modeling (VAM) data from student test scores. ATPE has previously shared with lawmakers and policymakers our grave concerns about the use of VAM for high-stakes purposes, especially in light of substantial research calling into question its validity. (Read more about some of the problems with VAM in a formal statement from the American Statistical Association, in our Summer 2014 feature article for ATPE News, and on our blog here and here.)

The decision to incorporate VAM into a new teacher evaluation system for Texas was driven by the state’s desire to win and hold onto a waiver of federal accountability laws from the U.S. Department of Education. The Obama administration offered states waivers from some sanctions and penalties within the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), but strings were attached. In Texas’s case, the NCLB waiver was conditioned on our state’s adopting a new teacher appraisal system that would tie teacher evaluations to student performance data. ATPE members who served on an original stakeholder committee convened to help develop the new system were told that the 20 percent threshold for student growth measures in each teacher’s appraisal was the minimum that the federal government would allow in order to preserve Texas’s waiver.

Since that time, however, the circumstances have changed. Congress replaced the NCLB with a new federal law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December, and that new law means that waivers and the strings attached to them will soon become obsolete. For this reason, ATPE is urging the Texas Education Agency to revisit with stakeholders and put the brakes on wholesale replacement of PDAS with a new system that is based largely on federal parameters that no longer apply.

If you would like to submit your own feedback about the T-TESS proposal in new 19 TAC Chapter 150, Subchapter AA, send your written comments to TEA no later than Monday, Jan. 11.


Before the holidays, Gov. Greg Abbott announced his pick to succeed Michael Williams as Texas Commissioner of Education. Mike Morath was sworn in on Monday as the new commissioner and he shared his desire to hear from stakeholders in an introductory blog post. Members of the ATPE staff expect to meet with Commissioner Morath in the near future and share our members’ priorities and input.CapitalTonightJMCJan2016

Related content: ATPE Governmental Relations Manager Jennifer Canaday appeared on Time Warner Cable’s Capital Tonight program this week to discuss the appointment of the new commissioner along with new laws affecting public education in Texas.


Exam

The State Board of Education is hosting a series of community conversations around the state this winter to gather input on accountability and student testing. The meetings are designed to elicit feedback to share with the new Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability. We posted the tentative schedule of dates and locations on our blog earlier this week. Registration links for each event will be included in the ATPE member newsletter.

Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: Oct. 2, 2015

October and the weekend have arrived! Here are education stories that made the news this week.


ATPE representatives visited the U.S. Department of Education this summer to discuss the state's ESEA waiver

ATPE representatives visited the U.S. Department of Education this summer to discuss the state’s ESEA waiver request. Texas received an extension of the waiver this week but learned that our state has been placed on “high-risk status.”

In 2013, Texas asked the U.S. Department of Education to waive certain outdated accountability provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The federal government granted us flexibility on a temporary basis, conditioned on Texas’s agreeing to change the way it evaluates educators. As TEA has been developing and piloting a new state-recommended system for evaluations of teachers and principals (T-TESS and T-PESS), the state has sought and received short-term extensions of the waiver. Now, the feds are giving Texas a January 2016 deadline to show that it is prepared to meet the Obama administration’s demands on requiring all schools to use the state’s new evaluation model and base personnel decisions upon it. Commissioner of Education Michael Williams says it’s not that simple though. Read more in our blog post earlier this week about the state’s commitment to local control. Also, view ATPE’s press release about the news.


 

If you plan to submit written feedback to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) about its troubling plan to allow superintendents to become certified despite having no master’s degree or prior experience as an educator, the public comment period ends Monday, Oct. 5. ATPE has been a vocal opponent of the proposed rule change and submitted formal written comments to the board yesterday. Read more about the proposal that’s on the agenda for SBEC’s next meeting on Oct. 16 and view our complete written comments in ATPE Lobbyist Kate Kuhlmann’s blog post from yesterday. Click here for more details on how you may submit your own comments to SBEC via e-mail between now and Monday.


 

From Washington, D.C., it was announced today that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will step down in December. That’s one of many education news highlights you’ll pick up when you follow Teach the VoteATPE, and members of our lobby team on Twitter and other social media sites. Here’s a recent sampling:

 

 

Texas receives conditional approval of ESEA waiver extension

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) notified Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today that Texas’s request for renewal of flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) had been approved on a conditional basis.

Texas received word earlier this year from ED that the Department needed additional information on the state’s waiver extension plan. The Department’s interest primarily pertained to the state’s “final guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with all requirements.” It was apparent at the time that ED was particularly concerned with a lack of requirement that all districts implement the state-recommended evaluation system. When Texas formally submitted the state’s waiver renewal application to ED in June, TEA did not change course and continued to allow districts to implement a locally-developed evaluation system in lieu of the state-recommended system, which is consistent with current Texas law.

Today, ED granted Texas its waiver extension through the 2015-16 school year but placed Texas on “high-risk status” and made flexibility beyond this school year dependent on Texas meeting two conditions: (1) all districts must be required to use the state-recommended evaluation system(s) that is consistent with federal waiver guidelines and (2) all districts must use the results of those evaluations to inform personnel decisions.

Commissioner Williams responded to the development by welcoming the approval of the waiver for the 2015-16 school year but maintained the state’s commitment to the option of locally-developed evaluation systems.

“Throughout the waiver application process, I have made it clear to federal officials that I do not have nor will I ever seek the authority to compel local school districts to use one uniform teacher and principal evaluation system statewide,” said Commissioner Williams. “Our state believes strongly in local control of our schools. As a result, we will continue discussing this specific point with the U.S. Department of Education, but they should not expect any shift in Texas’ position.”

Commissioner Williams also acknowledged that the state’s new state-recommended evaluation system is set to roll-out statewide during the 2016-17 school year. The teacher and principal evaluation systems, T-TESS and T-PESS, are currently in the refinement year of a pilot phase, with 256 Texas districts and approximately 2,000 campuses implementing the systems this school year.

“I believe a majority of our school districts representing roughly 85 percent of the state’s student population would make use of these new appraisal systems,” said Commissioner Williams. “However, that choice will be made at the local level, not by the federal government.”

Texas has until January 15, 2016, to show compliance with the above conditions or ED will deny the state’s waiver for the 2016-17 school year. Texas may also appeal its “high-risk status” but must do so by October 9. Commissioner Williams stated he would seek the Department’s reconsideration of the state’s status.

Visit TEA’s website to learn more about the state’s waiver request and read all related materials. The full press release from TEA on today’s development can be found here.

The latest on teacher salary bills: ATPE refutes claims by reform group and urges opposition

ATPE recently sent communications to all legislators to refute misleading claims made by a politically-connected reform group about bills that would eliminate the state’s minimum salary schedule for teachers. SB 893 by Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) and HB 2543 by Rep. Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown) are both pending in the Texas House. SB 893 passed the full Senate but has not yet been heard by a House committee. HB 2543 was heard by the House Public Education Committee but has so far been left pending, thanks to growing opposition to the bill.

Texans for Education Reform (TER) has been the main entity pushing for passage of these two pieces of legislation, along with several other bills that are part of a divisive reform package favored by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R). In addition to fighting for SB 893 and HB 2543 to change teacher pay and evaluations, TER’s legislative agenda includes other bills that ATPE has opposed calling for “A through F” grading of public school campuses (SB 6 and its House companion bills, HB 2109 and HB 2176); expanding and speeding up parent trigger laws making public schools more susceptible to private management (SB 14 and HB 1727); amending the state’s home rule charter district laws to facilitate creation of less regulated “local control school districts” (SB 1012 and HB 1798); creating a statewide Opportunity School District subject to private alternative management for the state’s lowest performing schools (SB 895HB 1536, and SB 669); and spending state money to expand home-schooled and private school students’ access to the state’s Virtual School Network (SB 894).

With so many in the education community opposing these bills, you may wonder who is behind the effort to take away educators’ rights, eliminate quality control measures for schools, and open the door for privatization and vouchers. TER was formed by a group of wealthy business leaders previously involved in tort reform efforts, and its founders include former Sen. Florence Shapiro, who joined the group upon her retirement from the Texas Legislature and her chairmanship of the Senate Education Committee. For the current legislative session, according to reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, TER has employed 22 lobbyists at a reported cost of between $830,000 to more than $1.6 million to help advance its controversial legislative agenda.

While TER’s legislative package has enjoyed support in Texas’s ultra-conservative Senate under Patrick’s leadership, the TER-backed bills have faced stiffer opposition in the House, leading to more aggressive lobbying efforts by the reform group. In an April 14th press release that was widely disseminated, TER claimed that SB 893 and HB 2543 would do nothing to impact the minimum salary schedule and would not lead to appraisals incorporating STAAR test results. ATPE sent a response to legislators pointing out the fallacies of the TER claims and highlighting specific sections of the bills that call for repealing teachers’ portion of the minimum salary schedule and creating a state-mandated framework for personnel decisions based in large part on student performance data.

Read ATPE’s message to legislators on “The Truth about SB 893 and HB 2543.”

ATPE urges members to keep calling their state representatives about these bills, which would facilitate district-level pay cuts for many experienced educators, remove important salary protections in state law that drive teacher retention, and do irreversible harm to teachers’ morale, leading many high-quality, veteran educators to consider retiring early from the profession. Visit our Officeholders page to find out who represents you in the Texas House, or click here to access contact information for all 150 state representatives.

Updated information on bills to eliminate salary schedule for teachers

Several ATPE members have inquired about the status of bills attempting to eliminate the state minimum salary schedule for teachers. The bills are Senate Bill 893 by Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) and House Bill 2543 by Rep. Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown). ATPE is opposed to both bills.

SB 893 by Sen. Seliger relates to public school teacher performance appraisals, continuing education, professional development, career advancement, and compensation. The bill was heard by the Senate Education Committee on March 19. During that hearing, ATPE testified against the bill. Read more about that hearing here. The Senate Education Committee favorably voted out a substitute version of the bill on March 24. The committee substitute changed language in the bill pertaining to student and teacher performance and attempted to ensure that state standardized tests would not be the only measure of student performance used in a state or district developed teacher appraisal system. However, ATPE believes that the bill still overemphasizes the role of “objective” student performance measures. The full Senate amended and then passed SB 893 on April 7. The vote was 27-4, with Democratic Sens. Rodney Ellis, Eddie Lucio, Jose Menendez, and Royce West opposing the bill. The Senate rejected a floor amendment by Sen. Menendez that attempted to restore the minimum salary schedule for teachers in the bill. SB 893 has been sent to the House for consideration.

HB 2543 by Rep. Farney is the House companion bill also relating to public school teacher performance appraisals, continuing education, professional development, career advancement, and compensation. HB 2543 was identical to SB 893 at the time of filing. The House Public Education Committee heard HB 2543 on Tuesday, April 7, and ATPE testified against it. The bill was left pending while the author considers possible amendments to the bill.

Stay tuned to Teach the Vote for updates about both of these bills as developments occur. In the meantime, we encourage ATPE members to keep contacting their state representatives and urging them to oppose these bills as they move through the Texas House. Click here for additional information about SB 893 and HB 2543 to share with your legislators.

House subcommittee hears from ATPE and others on educator quality

A new subcommittee formed under the umbrella of the House Public Education committee is tackling issues related to teacher quality this legislative session. Chaired by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), the Subcommittee on Educator Quality held a hearing today featuring invited testimony only. ATPE Lobbyist Monty Exter was among the invited witnesses. Click here to watch archived video of the hearing.

Exter testified and answered questions about the new T-TESS evaluation model being piloted in several school districts. The model was developed and rolled out by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) largely in response to conditions attached to a waiver of federal accountability laws that the U.S. Department of Education granted Texas last year. The federal government has pressured Texas to replace its longtime evaluation model known as PDAS with one that focuses more significantly on student growth, to be measured by standardized test scores in many instances. TEA officials who also testified today were quick to point out that Commissioner of Education Michael Williams plans to proceed with implementation of T-TESS regardless of what happens with the state’s ESEA/NCLB waiver. ATPE and other groups testified today that absent more sufficient resources and training, T-TESS will not provide the ongoing feedback to teachers and more frequent observations that will distinguish it from its highly-criticized predecessor, PDAS. Exter recommended exploring the use of peer evaluations rather than relying solely on administrators to conduct observations and provide feedback to teachers.

TEA’s presentations to the subcommittee resulted in a fairly lengthy discussion of the state’s certification laws and how we prepare future teachers. Dr. David Anthony, who heads the advocacy group Raise Your Hand Texas, highlighted the need for a dashboard that would enable legislators to see data on teacher certification and distinctions between the various types of educator preparation programs (EPPs) operating in Texas. Members of the subcommittee were especially interested in the differing types of preparation given to candidates pursuing traditional programs that have student teaching requirements and those admitted to alternative certification programs who receive a form of on-the-job training, working as a teacher of record before completing their training or passing their exams. Anthony also testified that Texas was somewhat unique in its tendency to allow for-profit companies to operate EPPs; he quipped, “Texas never met a certifying agent it didn’t like.” That prompted subcommittee members to bring TEA staff back up for additional questions about the state’s process and criteria for approving EPPs. “Who’s certifying the certifiers?” asked Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston).

ATPE’s Exter and other witnesses highlighted the need for raising the bar for educator preparation to more selectively recruit new teachers. Exter called it a way to affect educator quality without spending huge sums of money. The discussion included efforts by ATPE and other stakeholders to convince the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to raise the state’s minimum GPA for entering an EPP, which currently rests at 2.5 with exceptions and is viewed as one of the lowest standards in the country. SBEC declined to raise the GPA threshold despite a 2013 bill calling for higher minimum standards and a harsh rebuke by the State Board of Education. TEA staff testified that the statute was “confusing,” but noted that the board will be revisiting the issue at its upcoming SBEC meeting on Friday. Rep. Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown), a former educator who also served on the SBOE before joining the legislature, told TEA officials she was glad that SBEC was continuing to look at the GPA issue.

In a related hearing, the full House Public Education Committee also met today and voted out a series of bills with favorable recommendations. They included a bill to prevent schools from being penalized for poor test performance by students with limited Enlgish proficiency who’ve been enrolled in a U.S. school for less than 60 days; a bill requiring school districts to notify parents if they employ school marshals; and a measure to prevent limitations on the number of dual-credit courses in which a high school student may enroll.

Stay tuned to Teach the Vote for updates from the legislature and a report on Friday’s SBEC meeting at which GPA requirements for future teachers will be discussed.


Update: The March 6 SBEC meeting was cancelled because there were insufficient members present to constitute a quorum. It will be rescheduled in the near future.

TEA releases details of discussions with feds over teacher evaluation, ESEA waiver

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today released a statement detailing recent discussions between Commissioner of Education Michael Williams and officials with the U.S. Department of Education over the terms of the state’s ESEA/NCLB waiver. As previously reported on Teach the Vote, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan granted Texas a waiver of certain accountability requirements in the federal law, but the waiver was conditioned on the state’s revising its methods of evaluating teachers and principals.

In response to the waiver, TEA has been developing and piloting new evaluation systems in several school districts, with plans for a statewide rollout in 2016-17. Williams stated in today’s press release that the evaluation revisions were in progress “well before this waiver.” TEA also shared correspondence received from the federal government stating that recent peer reviews of Texas’s waiver submission had been critical of the state’s efforts around evaluation reform.

Assistant Secretary of Education Deborah Delisle wrote in the Jan. 7 letter to Williams, “Texas has not yet adopted guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility, nor does it have a process for ensuring that each district in Texas develops, adopts, pilots, and implements teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with those guidelines as required by ESEA flexibility.” Delisle gave TEA a March 31 deadline to submit a waiver renewal request incorporating “final guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with all requirements” previously laid out by the Obama administration.

To fulfill the U.S. Department of Education’s waiver expectations, changes in state law would most likely be needed. For instance, Texas law does not currently require all school districts to use the state’s recommended appraisal system, which the federal government would prefer. The federal government also wants states to be more prescriptive in requiring local school districts to make certain employment decisions on the basis of evaluation results. Williams has said that he will continue to seek input from education stakeholders and state leaders on how to proceed “now that we have more specifics from the federal government on what they are seeking.” TEA officials have indicated that they do not intend at this point to ask the legislature this session for statutory changes that would remove local control over evaluation and hiring/firing decisions.

Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly clear that lawmakers in Texas and several other states are reluctant to propose major statutory changes to help their states comply with the strings attached to federal ESEA waivers at a time when the ESEA itself is in flux. Congressional leaders have expressed a desire to pass a reauthorization bill — long overdue — this spring, and committee hearings on the reauthorization are already underway in the U.S. Senate.

At ATPE’s request, Texas congressmen ask U.S. DOE for NCLB waiver extension

As previously reported on Teach the Vote, members of the ATPE staff and state officers recently met with several members of the Texas congressional delegation in Washington and asked them to support our effort to advocate for an extension of time on the state’s NCLB waiver. A majority of the Texas congressional delegation granted our request to sign a letter of support for giving our state a waiver extension.

Texas has been granted a preliminary waiver of accountability measures in the federal ESEA/NCLB law, which was conditioned on the state’s changing its system for teacher evaluation. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced plans in May for a new system that would be piloted in the 2014-15 school year and implemented statewide in 2015-16 in accordance with expectations of the U.S. Department of Education. ATPE voiced concern that the timeline should be extended so that results of the pilot can be analyzed and adjustments can be made, if necessary, before TEA attempts to roll out new evaluations statewide.

On Wednesday, July 23, TEA announced that Commissioner Michael Williams has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asking for a one-year extension of time. Similarly, 22 members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas sent a letter at ATPE’s request to Secretary Duncan on July 24, asking for additional time for the implementation of any teacher evaluation changes in Texas and urging him to grant our state an extension of the NCLB waiver. Read the letter here.

ATPE is grateful for the assistance of the 22 congressmen, including House Committee on Education and the Workforce members Kenny Marchant and Rubén Hinojosa, who signed our bipartisan letter of support. We also appreciate the willingness of the commissioner to request an extension of time before proceeding with statewide implementation of a new evaluation system. Finally, we hope that Secretary Duncan will consider our request and enable Texas adequate flexibility to continue working to improve public education without being hamstrung by outdated federal accountability laws.

Related content: Read ATPE’s July 25 press release featuring State President Richard Wiggins, who was among the ATPE delegation that met with congressional leaders in Washington last month.

Commissioner requests extension of NCLB waiver and time for teacher evaluation pilot

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has written to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan requesting an extension of time for piloting a new teacher evaluation system. In doing so, Commissioner Williams has responded to the growing chorus of educators and others questioning the feasibility of a timeline imposed by the federal government for Texas to overhaul its teacher evaluation system.

Duncan previously granted Texas a waiver of certain accountability measures in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), more commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The outdated federal law has become problematic for most school districts, prompting Texas Education Agency (TEA) officials to join most other states in seeking flexibility in the form of waivers. Duncan offered Texas a conditional waiver that requires the state to change the way it evaluates teachers and principals. In fulfillment of that condition, TEA announced a plan in May to pilot a new Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) in the 2014-15 school year in several districts and implement the new system statewide in the 2015-16 school year.

ATPE and other groups have voiced concerns that the implementation timeline mandated by the federal government is unreasonable, primarily because it does not allow time for analysis of the pilot results and modifications to the new evaluation system prior to full implementation. (Read about ATPE’s recent discussions with the Texas Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. about the need for an extension of time.) Commissioner Williams echoed those concerns in his letter to Duncan, stating, “If Texas is to develop an evaluation system that truly supports our teachers, we need time to complete the pilot year and then utilize the constructive feedback we will receive from our school districts, charters and educators.”

If the state’s request for an extension is granted, it is likely that there will be two years of piloting for the new teacher evaluation system, known as T-TESS. According to TEA officials, it is too early to know whether the same school districts participating in the 2014-15 pilot year will participate in a second year of piloting the new system.

ATPE greatly appreciates the commissioner’s responsiveness to educators’ concerns about the implementation timeline. Read TEA’s press release announcing the commissioner’s action here. Read ATPE’s press release about the decision here.