Few people realize that the TEI (Teacher Excellence Initiative) penalizes hard-working teachers at a school if the school’s overall STAAR scores are not good.
That’s right: a teacher who works hard in his or her own classroom and manages to overcome the drama and dysfunction of DISD administrators to post good test scores, often takes the hit on TEI anyway. The teacher loses the chance at a raise.
Even many teachers did not understand this until they saw how many points they personally lost on their TEI scorecard because of how their school (over which they have no control) performed on STAAR.
This is not fair.
Who does have control of a school? Principals.
And guess what: despite dismal past results, many of these principals are still in charge of schools. This will consign teachers at schools under failing principals to another year without a pay raise.
This means that any decent teacher at such a school (1 out of 5 on STAAR points is the lowest I’ve heard of) will need to leave that school if they ever want to increase their pay. And an exodus of teachers from any school only serves to destabilize it.
Hinojosa may say he can’t do away with TEI, but he can certainly read the same data the rest of us are looking at and either FIRE or DEMOTE any principal where teachers lost 3 or more TEI points on STAAR scores (unless STAAR scores were a significant improvement over the previous year’s scores).
Teachers have very little influence on most aspects of DISD schools. Principals, however, many of them inexperienced, badly trained and placed by Miles, have almost all of the influence over how a school is staffed, scheduled, supplied, and organized.
If a school’s STAAR scores or ACP scores are low, the buck stops with the principal and the ED supporting that principal. Teachers shouldn’t have to forgo a raise for another year because a bad principal has been left in charge.
Low or falling STAAR scores are a red flag that something is wrong on a campus. You can bet that children are suffering at that campus. And now, with the TEI scorecards out, it’s obvious that even good teachers at those campuses will suffer, too.
Fix this, Hinojosa. Fire the principals or demote them, but take them out of positions of control if you want to protect children by retaining good teachers.