Texas Teacher Evaluation and
Support System (T-TESS)

As part of a vision to expand support and assistance to educator evaluation and professional development, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) revised its teacher evaluation system over a period of nine months beginning in spring 2013.The new system, the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T–TESS), includes multiple measures that support teacher instruction and student performance and will replace the current system – the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS).

The Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) at SEDL convened a steering committee comprised of teachers, principals, and representatives from higher education and educator organizations to complete this work. The committee identified areas of instruction and student performance aligned to research and best practices that would improve teaching and learning and influence student performance. The committee then proposed a matrix approach for Texas’ teacher evaluation model that incorporates teacher observations, self-reflection and goal setting, and measures of student growth.

In collaboration with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Region XIII Education Service Center (ESC), and the TXCC, TEA is piloting the new system during the 2014-2015 school year. During the pilot period, all 20 ESCs will provide technical assistance to nearly 60 pilot districts. TEA will collect quantitative and qualitative feedback from NIET and from the ESCs; these data will inform improvements to the system during the 2015-2016 refinement year.