Breaking News - ATPE Settles Lawsuit Over State's Teacher Evaluation System

ATPE and other parties to a lawsuit over the state’s new recommended teacher appraisal system known as T-TESS have reached a settlement agreement.

ATPE and three other teacher associations sued the state in April 2016 alleging that new commissioner’s rules to implement T-TESS violated state laws and were against public policy. Through the Office of the Attorney General, which represented the Texas Education Agency in the lawsuit, Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has agreed to revise the rules in exchange for the four teacher groups’ suspending their legal challenges.

The terms of the settlement agreement call for removal of language in the commissioner’s rules that require districts to employ four specific student growth measures in evaluating teachers under the T-TESS model. One of those four criteria was “value-added data based on student state assessment results,” often called Value-Added Measurement or Value-Added Modeling (VAM). ATPE has long criticized the use of VAM for high-stakes purposes based on concerns about the validity and fairness of the controversial model.

‘VAM attempts to use complex statistical calculations on students’ standardized test scores in previous years to predict how well a student should perform on future tests; the resulting test performance of an individual student – not accounting for myriad outside factors – is supposed to magically show whether that student’s most recent teacher was effective or not,” said ATPE Governmental Relations Director Jennifer Canaday at the time the lawsuits challenging the rules were filed.

ATPE Member Legal Services Director Donna Derryberry described the compromise struck this week as one that “will give districts more local control over their appraisal process” without being required to use VAM. “This is a great victory for all Texas teachers,” added Derryberry, “and ATPE is proud to have been instrumental in this settlement.”

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Patricia Startz Posted On: July 13, 2017
Thanks for your hard work!

Mary Garcia Posted On: May 11, 2017
We appreciate the support.
Great job!

Alleyne Rodman Posted On: May 8, 2017
I hope you guys made a recommendation to achieve the same desired outcome goal. Saying no just because its not fair no longer cuts it.

Eddie Hutchison Posted On: May 7, 2017
I appreciate all ATPE does for Texas all school district employees.

Jose A. Delgado Posted On: May 7, 2017
ATPE must put a lawsuit also about Districts on innovation!

Jay Keaffer Posted On: May 7, 2017
Great work guys, y'all rock!

Terri Posted On: May 5, 2017
Congratulations to all ATPE and other teacher associations for supporting our teachers and their students!

Lana Riley Posted On: May 5, 2017
Thanks for being our advocates! Legislators would not hear our voices without you!

Patsy Smith Posted On: May 4, 2017
Thank you for your efforts on our behalf; all of which ultimately benefit Texas students.

Miguel Henriquez Posted On: May 4, 2017
ATPE supports its teachers.

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