Association of Texas Professional Educators
 

 

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Evaluations and Appraisals

As a teacher in Texas, you will be appraised by your district on a regular basis. Ensure that your performance is accurately reviewed and protect yourself and your rights by knowing the details of the teacher appraisal process.

General Requirements of the State-Mandated Appraisal of Teachers & Administrators

  • All classroom teachers working in an academic or career and technology setting must be appraised on the basis of classroom teaching performance.
  • Teachers will be appraised at least once each year, unless the teacher has been appraised as proficient or better in every category on the most recent appraisal. If so, the teacher and district may agree to do an appraisal less often, but at least every five years. (See Requesting PDAS every 5 years.)
  • The teacher may be given notice of the date and/or time of appraisal, but it is not required.
  • The appraisal’s performance criteria must be based on observable, job-related behavior, including:
  1. The teacher’s implementation of discipline management procedures; and
  2. The performance of the teacher’s students.
  • Extracurricular activities cannot be evaluated on the teacher appraisal. However, performance of these duties may be evaluated on a separate document.
  • The appraisal process must include a teacher/appraiser conference that is diagnostic as well as prescriptive regarding teacher professional development and improvement.
  • A written copy of the teacher’s evaluation must be maintained in the teacher’s personnel file and made available to the teacher.
  • Teacher Performance evaluations are confidential, with two exceptions:
  1. School district personnel with proper authority and a legitimate professional purpose may view the evaluation; and
  2. A school district to which a teacher has applied for employment can request and receive from the teacher’s current district the teacher’s evaluation as well as any rebuttal made by the teacher.

Method & Form of Appraisal

Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS)
Most school districts in Texas use the PDAS. The PDAS requires:

  • Mandatory teacher orientation
  • Specific appraiser qualifications [19 TAC 150.1006]
  • Appraisal training for teachers
  • Appraisal based on performance in fields and teaching assignments for which the teacher is certified
  • At least one 45-minute observation (unless the teacher agrees otherwise)
  • Additional walk-throughs and observations at the appraiser’s discretion
  • Cumulative data from additional written documentation [19 TAC 150.1003(f)]
  • Pre- and/or post-observation conferences at the request of the teacher or appraiser
  • A Teacher Self-Report Form that includes:
  1. Documentation by the teacher of the teaching or reinforcement of TAKS objectives, as well as other contributions to the improvement of student academic performance;
  2. An annual description of professional development activities; and
  3. Discussion of targeted areas for professional growth.

Locally Developed Appraisal Processes
Some districts, including several large urban districts, use locally developed and approved appraisal instruments and processes instead of the PDAS. Any modification to the commissioner-recommended appraisal process (PDAS) will create a local appraisal process.

Local appraisal systems must:
• Be developed by district- and campus-level committees
• Contain criteria relating to discipline management and student performance
• Be adopted by the local school board

Specific rules and timelines for local appraisal processes will be found in written district appraisal policies.

Scheduling

PDAS

  • A school district must establish a calendar for teacher appraisal.
  • A teacher’s appraisal period shall include all contractual days.
  • Observation blackout days:
  1. The first two weeks of instruction;
  2. The last day of instruction before a school holiday; and
  3. Any other day deemed inappropriate by the local school board.
  • A written summary of each observation must be given to the teacher within 10 working days of an observation.
  • A written summative report must be given to the teacher at least five working days before the summative conference and no later than 15 working days before the last day of instruction.
  • A summative conference must be held within the timeframe specified by the school district calendar and no later than 15 working days before the last day of instruction. The teacher can waive this timeline.
  • An appraisal can be changed based on additional cumulative data collected after the summative conference, but an additional summative report and conference must be held. [19 TAC 150.1003(k)]

Locally Developed Appraisal Process
Under a locally developed appraisal process, schedules for teacher appraisal, applicable timelines and rules are determined locally and can be found in written district policy.

Teacher Response & Appeals

PDAS

  • A teacher may submit a written response or rebuttal after receiving:
  1. A written observation summary;
  2. A written summative annual appraisal report; and/or
  3. Any other written appraisal document.
  • The response or rebuttal must be submitted within 10 working days of receiving a written appraisal document, or at the discretion of the appraiser, within 15 working days. [Sample PDAS response]
  • A teacher may request a second appraisal by a different appraiser after receiving:
  1. A written observation summary with which the teacher disagrees; and/or
  2. A written summative annual appraisal report with which the teacher disagrees.
  • The second appraisal must be requested within 10 working days of receiving a written observation summary or a written summative annual appraisal report or within 15 working days at the discretion of the appraiser.
  • The second appraisal may replace the first, the two scores may be averaged, or the second appraisal may simply be added to the teacher’s appraisal file as an additional document. These are locally determined matters.
  • School districts must adopt and give to each teacher written procedures for:
  1. Teachers to present grievances;
  2. Districts to receive written comments in response to the written annual reports; and
  3. Determining the selection of second appraisers.

Locally Developed Appraisal Processes

  • After receiving a written copy of the evaluation, a teacher is entitled to:
  1. A second appraisal by a different appraiser; and
  2. Submit a written rebuttal for attachment to the evaluation.

Grievances
Whether your district uses PDAS or a locally developed appraisal process a teacher may file a grievance regarding an unsatisfactory appraisal result under the local grievance policy.

The grievance option is best exercised if:

  1. The appraisal result is very poor;
  2. Irrelevant information or bias results in a negative appraisal; and/or
  3. Written rules and/or procedures have not been followed.

Specific rules, timelines and procedures will be found in written district policy.

Written Response
Tips for an effective response or rebuttal:

  1. Be objective.
  2. Use a professional tone.
  3. Include only information that is relevant to the appraisal process and/or its result.
  4. Attach supporting documentation if necessary.
  5. Address the most important points.
  6. Request a specific remedy if appropriate. For example, ask the appraiser to award previously denied credit.

Responding to an appraisal
Sample PDAS response
Growth plans

Evaluations of Other District Personnel

The commissioner of education is charged by the education code with developing a job description and evaluation form for school counselors. Local school districts may adopt policies and forms for the evaluation of other district personnel, including:

• Coaches • Band directors
• Athletic directors/coordinators • Nonathletic UIL activity "sponsors"
• Nurses • Cafeteria/maintenance workers
• Teacher aides • Other personnel
• Secretaries  

Administrators must be appraised annually, under either the commissioner-recommended process or a locally developed and adopted process. A school district is prohibited from paying an administrator who has not been appraised in the preceding 15 months.
 
Specifics for appraising all of the above nonclassroom employees vary from district to district.

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The legal information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice or the provision of legal services. Accessing this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Individual legal situations vary greatly and readers should consult directly with an attorney. Eligible ATPE members should contact the ATPE Member Legal Services Department using our online system, MLSIS.
 

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