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
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
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:
- The teacher’s implementation of discipline
management procedures; and
- 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
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
- School district personnel with proper authority and
a legitimate professional purpose may view the
- 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.
Professional Development and Appraisal
Most school districts in Texas use the PDAS. The PDAS
Mandatory teacher orientation
Specific appraiser qualifications [19
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
Additional walk-throughs and observations at the
Cumulative data from additional written documentation [19
Pre- and/or post-observation conferences at the request
of the teacher or appraiser
A Teacher Self-Report Form
- Documentation by the teacher of the teaching or
reinforcement of TAKS objectives, as well as other
contributions to the improvement of student academic
- An annual description of professional development
- Discussion of targeted areas for professional
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
• Be adopted by the local school board
Specific rules and timelines for local
appraisal processes will be found in written district
A school district must establish a calendar for teacher
A teacher’s appraisal period shall include all
Observation blackout days:
- The first two weeks of instruction;
- The last day of instruction before a school holiday;
- Any other day deemed inappropriate by the local
A written summary of each observation
must be given to the teacher within 10 working days of an
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
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
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
A teacher may submit a written response or rebuttal
- A written observation summary;
- A written summative annual appraisal report; and/or
- 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
A teacher may request a second appraisal by a different
appraiser after receiving:
- A written observation summary with which the teacher
- 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:
- Teachers to present grievances;
- Districts to receive written comments in response to
the written annual reports; and
- Determining the selection of second appraisers.
Locally Developed Appraisal Processes
After receiving a written copy of the evaluation, a
teacher is entitled to:
- A second appraisal by a different appraiser; and
- Submit a written rebuttal for attachment to the
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
The grievance option is best exercised
- The appraisal result is very poor;
- Irrelevant information or bias results in a negative
- Written rules and/or procedures have not been
Specific rules, timelines and procedures
will be found in written district policy.
Tips for an effective response or
- Be objective.
- Use a professional tone.
- Include only information that is relevant to the appraisal
process and/or its result.
- Attach supporting documentation if necessary.
- Address the most important points.
- Request a specific remedy if appropriate. For
example, ask the appraiser to award previously denied
Responding to an appraisal
Sample PDAS response
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:
||• Band directors
||• Nonathletic UIL activity "sponsors"
||• Cafeteria/maintenance workers
|• Teacher aides
||• Other personnel
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.
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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