Is Your District Ready for the Teacher Incentive Allotment?

Planning Meeting

No matter what Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) Cohort your district identifies with, or even if you are in the initial TIA discovery phase, there are 6 TIA Success Factors to guide your district’s thinking and work. 

  1. Strongly Calibrated Teacher Observation System
  2. Accurate & Reliable Measures of a Teacher’s Impact on Student Growth
  3. Developing a Local Designation System
  4. TIA Rollout Communication Plan
  5. Plan for Spending Allotment Funds
  6. Sustainability of Local Designation System

Let’s dive into each TIA Success Factor.

Success Factor One

Success Factor One of the TIA Readiness Checklist refers to a Strongly Calibrated Teacher Observation System.  So, what does this mean exactly?  Key Practices of a Strongly Calibrated Teacher Observation System include:

  • Strength of teacher evaluation rubric
  • Schedule of observations
  • Calibration for evaluators
  • Congruence of observation scores to student growth
  • District review of observation data

To meet the Success Criteria for these Key Practices, districts must utilize a research-based evaluation system that is nationally recognized. It must include defined indicators with detailed descriptors and performance levels.

Also, teachers must receive annual observations with feedback and be notified of district policies, procedures and expectations of their specific observation calendar and cycle.  All teacher evaluators must be trained and/or certified annually on the teacher observation rubric. 

Finally, districts must have systems in place for calibration, calibration data analysis and processes to address the data’s trends, challenges and celebrations. 

Simply, Success Factor One must be in place to ensure teacher observations are accurate, reliable and valuable through inter-rater reliability processes. 

Success Factor Two

Success Factor Two of the TIA Readiness Checklist refers to Accurate & Reliable Measures of a Teacher’s Impact on Student GrowthKey Practices include:

  • Student growth measures included in annual teacher summative ratings
  • Quality of student growth measures and their implementation
  • District rules and processes ensure high levels of validity and reliability of student growth measures

In order to meet the Success Criteria for these Key Practices, districts must have a clearly communicated plan for how student growth measures affect a teacher’s annual appraisal.  The measures are clearly defined, used consistently for all teachers up for designation, and provide multiple student growth demonstrations. 

Districts must utilize student growth measures defined within TEA guidance that are considered valid, reliable, and are implemented with fidelity.  To ensure data results are accurate and reliable, districts put processes in place to analyze data and prevent irregularities. 

The bottom line is that Success Factor Two must be in place to ensure districts are using student growth measures that are accurate and reliable depictions of a teacher’s impact on student growth.

Success Factor Three

Success Factor Three of the TIA Readiness Checklist refers to a District’s Current Strategic Compensation Plan (Cohorts A and B) or Developing a Local Designation System (Cohorts C and D)Key Practices include:

  • Stakeholder engagement in building the current plan
  • Teacher engagement
  • Timeline to develop plan
  • Resources, policies and frameworks

To meet the Success Criteria for these Key Practices, there must be high-level engagement and communication at the district, campus and community levels. 

Teacher engagement is its own key practice because of the importance of their role in this plan and the direct impact they have on student growth.  Engagement is needed to complete extensive planning and to keep the stakeholder lines of communication open. This also helps in the identification of resources, and how to support the development of policies and frameworks needed to carry out the plan. 

To sum it up, Success Factor Three must be in place to ensure districts have a robust strategic compensation plan.

Success Factor Four

Success Factor Four of the TIA Readiness Checklist refers to a Plan for How TIA Will Work with Current Strategic Compensation Plan (Cohorts A and B) or TIA Rollout Communication Plan (Cohorts C and D)Key Practices include:

  • District and school board leadership buy-in to TIA
  • Stakeholder engagement regarding the TIA-local plan crosswalk
  • Clear plan for how TIA will work with district’s current strategic compensation system

Meeting the Success Criteria for these Key Practices involves districts and school boards working together to be able to articulate their understanding of the Teacher Incentive Allotment plan and develop a timeline for proper school board approval. 

In addition, stakeholder engagement remains a huge part of Success Factor Four, to ensure that there is transparent communication and opportunities for input.  Districts also make a commitment to teachers by ensuring they understand TIA designation level performance descriptors and how the compensation plan will impact them.  Finally, they make commitments to develop and implement a communication and document publishing plan. 

So, Success Factor Four must be in place to ensure all stakeholders understand the complex compensation plan and how it will impact each of them. 

Success Factor Five

Success Factor Five of the TIA Readiness Checklist refers to a Plan for Spending Allotment FundsKey Practices include:

  • Stakeholder engagement on how to spend funds
  • TIA use of funds: district support for TIA implementation
  • TIA use of funds: teacher compensation
  • Plan for designated teacher intra-district transfers

To meet the Success Criteria for these Key Practices, engagement at all stakeholder levels continue to play a key role.  Districts commit to gathering input on how to spend allotment funds at the campus and district levels. 

Then, districts develop a clear spending plan and must be able to communicate the plan by providing rationale decisions and evaluating its effectiveness.  Part of the plan must include how the district will handle compensation for designated teachers who move across campuses at the middle and end of year. 

In summary, Success Factor Five must be in place to ensure all stakeholders clearly understand how the district will spend Teacher Incentive Allotment funds. 

Success Factor Six

Success Factor Six of the TIA Readiness Checklist refers to the Sustainability of Local Designation SystemKey Practices include:

  • Human resources system support
  • Budget and finance system support
  • Payroll system support
  • Technology support
  • Legal support
  • Continuous improvement
  • Support for designated teachers new to a campus

To meet the Success Criteria for these Key Practices, district leaders must work together to develop a plan for how each district department will work in sync and regularly communicate to support Teacher Incentive Allotment as a systematic approach.  Ongoing collaborative work is essential in the goal of system sustainability.   

Success Factor Six must be in place with strong district policies, procedures and systems to ensure sustainability of the local designation system.

Additional information on TIA Success Factors, such as the TIA Readiness Checklist, can be found on TEA’s website and also on Region 13’s TIA webpage

Learn more at our upcoming Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) Information and Planning Session

Jamie Haywood is an Administrative Specialist for our Educator Evaluation and Leadership team here at Region 13.

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