The Texas Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) project (the Texas TIF project) is a partnership between the fiscal agent, Education Service Center 18 (ESC 18), the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), and four public school districts across Texas. The Texas TIF project aims to create effective human capital management systems (HCMS) that incorporate innovative educator evaluation systems that include value-added modeling, student learning objectives (SLOs), performance-based compensation systems (PBCS), targeted professional development, and recruitment incentives. The project includes four Texas public school districts (Anderson-Shiro CISD, Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD, Lytle ISD, and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD) that serve 33 schools, over 1,700 professional staff, and over 24,200 students. The participating districts and schools have low student achievement scores compared to the state average, serve a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students (approximately 75 percent free or reduced-price lunch), and face high teacher and principal turnover.
The Texas TIF project's primary goal is to improve student achievement in high-need schools by strengthening district HCMS. In addition to the primary goal, the Texas TIF project plans to: (1) implement high-quality districtwide evaluation and support systems that identify effective educators, (2) recruit and retain high-quality teachers and principals in high-need schools, and (3) recruit and retain high-quality teachers in hard-to-staff subject areas such as mathematics and science. The Texas TIF project hired a Research and Evaluation Manager during Year 3 of the grant. The Research and Evaluation Manager will produce an in-depth report that provides lessons learned and a toolkit of success strategies.
- Texas TIF created a professional development system called SEED: The System for Effective Educator Development, which was included in the menu of options for districts; each TIF partner implemented SEED as part of its professional development system.
- The grantee formally evaluated teachers and principals.
- Teachers and administrators had to receive an Effective or higher rating in order to be eligible for any performance-based compensation.
- The grantee provided extensive training and support to ensure project partners were prepared for implementation in the 2013-14 school year.
- Eight districts with 34 campuses participated in a planning year for the Texas TIF project.
* Implemented all components of the HCMS at 33 high-need campuses
* Provided training and technical assistance to support districts implementing the new teacher and principal evaluation systems
* Conducted 330 site visits during the project period to participating campuses
* Provided individualized support to partner districts
* Held a second HCMS meeting to examine current HCMS practices and identify opportunities to strengthen the educator workforce
* Held a third HCMS meeting to provide feedback on implementation of HCMS components
* Partner districts are implementing the educator evaluation systems districtwide.
* The inclusion of the SEED structure provides the vehicle for weekly and ongoing professional development for teacher and principals within the LEAs.
* TASB conducted teacher engagement surveys, compensation analysis, and training on recruitment strategies for partner districts. They have also created interview questions for each partner district that aligns with each district's teacher observation tool.
- ESC 18 partnered with the Institute for Public School Initiatives at the University of Texas to provide instructional literacy support to partner districts, including strategies for deepening content-area learning and writing across the curriculum.
- ESC 18 and TASB assisted partner districts with looking at sustainable solutions for using the effectiveness ratings as the measure for determining pay raises. This work is ongoing in Year 5.
- ESC 18 released an RFP for a comprehensive data management system that can link educator evaluation data with other district data to better inform HCMS decisions. ESC 18 will select a vendor in December 2016.
- Partner districts are engaging stakeholders and examining evaluation data to make informed decisions about future work.
- Teachers: Performance pay pool of $2,000 per teacher
- Principals: Performance pay pool of $2,000 per administrator
- Effective Collaborative Learning Leaders and Collaborative Learning Facilitators receive salary augmentations for taking on additional roles and responsibilities.
Performance payouts from Year 3 were paid out in Year 4 for a total of $1,302,025 in teacher awards and $33,925 in principal awards.