Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Texas

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should articulate consequences for teachers with unsatisfactory evaluations, including specifying that teachers with multiple unsatisfactory evaluations should be eligible for dismissal.

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Texas results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/TX-Unsatisfactory-Evaluations-10

Analysis of Texas's policies

Texas requires that teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations be placed on "intervention" plans. If, once the plan is completed, the teacher continues to perform unsatisfactorily, then the teacher is "considered for separation from the assignment, campus, and/or district."

Unfortunately, Texas' effort to make unsatisfactory evaluations grounds for separation from the district does not carry over to the state's dismissal policy (see Goal 5-C).

Citation

Recommendations for Texas

Make eligibility for dismissal a consequence of unsatisfactory evaluations.
Texas is commended for requiring that all teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations are placed on improvement plans. However, it is unclear as to whether the state's policy of "separation" for failing to meet the requirements of the improvement plan translates to dismissal. The state could strengthen its policy by making teachers who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations or have two unsatisfactory evaluations within five years formally eligible for dismissal.

State response to our analysis

Texas asserted that "separation" under 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 150.1004 is the equivalent of dismissal or termination. The state added that a teacher who receives an unsatisfactory appraisal must be placed on an intervention plan that includes a specific timeline for successful completion. A teacher who does not meet the requirements of the intervention plan is formally eligible for termination or nonrenewal.

Last word

The state is encouraged to clarify its regulatory language so as not to leave districts with any ambiguity concerning the consequences for unsatisfactory evaluations. The current flexibility that the policy affords could result in teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations being "separated" from their assignment or school, meaning that they are moved around rather than dismissed, putting students at risk.

Research rationale

To review the process and types of personnel evaluations observed in other job sectors, including the problems inherent to some evaluation systems see, for example, Gliddon, David (October 2004). Effective Performance Management Systems, Current Criticisms and New Ideas for Employee Evaluation in Performance Improvement 43(9), 27-36.