The state should have a data system that contributes some of the evidence needed to assess teacher effectiveness.
Texas does not have a data system that can be used to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness.
However, Texas does have two of three necessary elements that would allow for the development of a student- and teacher-level longitudinal data system. The state has assigned unique student identifiers that connect student data across key databases across years, and it has the capacity to match student test records from year to year in order to measure student academic growth.
Although Texas assigns teacher identification numbers, it cannot match individual teacher records with individual student records.
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Develop capacity of state data system.
Texas should ensure that its state data system is able to match individual teacher records with individual student records.
Develop a clear definition of "teacher of record."
A definition of teacher of record is necessary in order to use the student-teacher data link for teacher evaluation and related purposes. Texas defines the teacher of record as the teacher who is responsible for the classroom, determines the instruction delivered and assigns the final grades. However, to ensure that data provided through the state data system are actionable and reliable, Texas should articulate a more distinct definition of teacher of record and require its consistent use throughout the state.
Texas asserted that it defines teacher of record as an educator employed by a school district who teaches the majority of the instructional day in an academic instructional setting and is responsible for evaluating student achievement and assigning grades.
The state also pointed out that in 2010-2011, it established the teacher-to-student link in the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) and, in September 2010, contracted with the Project on Educator Effectiveness and Quality (PEEQ) to develop a metric that measured a teacher's effect on student achievement. The objective was to assess the performance of new teachers in their first three years in the classroom and provide feedback to the preparation programs, teachers and policymakers to improve the quality of teaching and enhance student learning. Texas noted that PEEQ is developing a comprehensive assessment of a teacher's effectiveness that will consist of a value-added component and other qualitative measures, such as a principal survey based on classroom observations. This metric will serve as the third standard of the accountability system for educator preparation programs, and a pilot metric is expected to be available in March 2012. Although the analysis is not yet complete, using 2010-2011 data, the state will likely have evidence of effectiveness of some teachers.
Finally, Texas added that it has received a Statewide Longitudinal Data System grant that will allow it to transform the existing Texas Public Education Information Resource (TPEIR) data warehouse into a model that will further the use of more robust, timely performance data for elementary, secondary and postsecondary education. The enhanced TPEIR database, modified to include student/teacher linkages throughout the P-20 continuum, will build the capacity to make decisions based on evidence of effectiveness at multiple levels and for multiple purposes: at the local level for improved P-12 performance, at the state level for policymaking and scaling up of interventions that prove successful and at the national level for research into policies and practices that close the gaps and improve performance for all students. A portion of the grant will focus on student achievement, teacher effectiveness and teacher preparation.