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The Question and Answers below are taken from the FAQ's located on the TIA website at https://tiatexas.org/designation-system-faqs/

Getting Started

What type of technical assistance can ESC Region 10 provide?

Districts may set aside 10 percent of TIA for implementation costs. ESC Region 10 can support districts' needs for TIA implementation.  View a complete listing of how Region 10 can support district needs here.

Where do we begin?

Districts interested in TIA should begin with the Readiness Checklist.  This document will take prospective districts through each Success Factor critical to receiving and sustaining the TIA and help them determine their appropriate cohort group.  R10 is here to help!  Feel free to contact us so we can help you begin this work!  View the TIA Readiness Checklists here

Are only certified teachers eligible?

Yes, this includes intern, probationary, and standard certificates.  Region 10 offers a teacher alternative certification program for aspiring teachers.  If you have teaching candidates interested in completing their teaching certification through Region 10, please click here.

Can a district phase in groups of teachers over time?

Yes. Districts have local flexibility to develop their local designation systems. For example, a district may choose to include only math and reading teachers in year one, and then expand to include science and social studies teachers in year two, etc. System expansion will require the district to submit and be approved through the two-step application process.

Can a district apply for TIA only at specific campuses in its district and not others?

Yes. Districts specify the campuses on which they want to designate teachers under TIA. We have several districts throughout Region 10 who have implemented TIA only on specific campus within their district.  Any campus in the district that has designated teachers working on it will generate TIA funding to be spent on teacher compensation on that campus.

When should districts begin communicating with teachers about their local designation systems?

Districts are encouraged to communicate with teachers early in the process and throughout the development and implementation of their local designation systems. The TIA Readiness Checklist includes a section on community and teacher communication. View the TIA Readiness Checklists here.  Additional TIA resources can be found on this TIA Resources page.

What is the connection between the "statewide performance standards" and "local designation systems?"

The performance standards are designed to illustrate the actions teachers take at the Master, Exemplary, and Recognized levels during lesson delivery and the impact these actions have on student performance at the Master, Exemplary, and Recognized levels.  TEA has stated that "It is possible, over time, for all teachers to earn a designation through their local designation system given their ability to meet the statewide performance standards."  Districts designation plans will likely be expected to (change to “must”) include statewide performance standards.

What stakeholder groups should be included in developing the local teacher designation system? 

Best practices indicate that including teachers, campus leaders, district leaders, and community members in planning and reviewing a local teacher designation system results in a stronger system with more buy-in. In addition, school board input and approval are recommended. Please refer to the TIA Readiness Checklist for additional best practices in stakeholder engagement.


System and Data Review Questions

What is the time frame to apply, and what happens after a district's local designation system is submitted for review?  

View a complete listing of Cohort timelines here.  Time frames to apply are based on the data capture year a district plans to use when submitting the teacher observation and student growth data for the purposes of TIA. Please note there will be a two-step review process: (1) local designation system review by TEA and (2) data submission review by Texas Tech University.

Is T-TESS a "Strongly Calibrated Teacher Appraisal System?"

Yes, but designation systems should also show evidence of "validity and reliability."  Therefore, Success Factor One will emphasize quality control systems that ensure consistent calibrations to ensure inter-rater reliability of T-TESS (or the whatever teacher appraisal system a district chooses to use) in your district.  Once implemented, TEA will conduct periodic evaluations of the district's system to ensure the system fidelity remains intact over time.  To increase validity and reliability, Region 10 offers T-TESS calibration training.  For more information on training, please click here.

Should I send in the LOI without a plan for TIA?

The LOI does not commit a district to a Cohort group or indicate a submitted plan. The intention of the LOI is to provide TEA with information to determine the level of support needed for each cohort group. Districts who would like to submit or revise a plan should submit the request to tia@tea.texas.gov.

What are "Accurate and Reliable Measures of a Teacher's Impact on Student Growth" and what student growth measures can be used for teachers in non-tested subjects?

As part of Success Factor Two, districts applying for the TIA should submit to Texas Tech University.  Districts could consider using measures such as pre-and post-tests, value-added measures, portfolios, student learning objectives, or standardized test results.  Student Learning Objectives (SLO) connected to T-TESS may be a platform to measure student growth, provided they include valid metrics.  Because SLO is connected T-TESS as a state approved student growth measure, Region 10 provides SLO training to interested districts.  View more information on Region 10 SLO training here.  Districts may also find the T-TESS Guidance on Student Growth Measures (PDF) helpful as they consider different student growth measures. 

How will TEA know if Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) are measuring growth effectively? 

During the System Review process, districts will be required to explain in detail their procedures and protocols for SLO implementation, including procedures for setting student preparedness levels at the beginning of the year, protocols for collecting the body of evidence of student work and rubrics/protocols used to approve SLOs at the end of the year. TTU will review SLO growth measure data during step two of the system approval process.  For Region 10 SLO training, please click here.

Once approved districts submit their data in the fall after their data capture year, will they be required to submit teacher observation and student growth data for all teachers in eligible teaching assignments for the next four years, or can they submit only some teacher observation and student growth data and have other teachers in eligible teaching assignments on appraisal waivers?

After the data capture year, districts are encouraged to submit as much teacher observation and student growth data as possible for every year during which they want to put forth new teachers for designations or designated teachers for higher designations. For TEA/TTU to verify data submission, we recommend there be teacher observation and student growth data for as many teachers in eligible teaching assignments as possible.

Many districts allow eligible teachers to waive an annual appraisal.  Will an annual appraisal be required for teachers to earn a designation?

Districts must have observation and student data from the data capture year for all teachers in the district’s system. If fully approved, teachers not submitted for designation are not required to have an annual observation although if a teacher is put forth for a higher designation, teacher effectiveness data is required. Once a teacher has earned a designation, opting out of his/her annual appraisal will be a local decision. Appraisals must comply with §21.351 and §21.352.

Exactly what data will schools be required to submit for the data review process?

At minimum, districts will be required to submit data on teacher effectiveness, which will include teacher observation data and the teacher’s student growth rubric rating. TEA will communicate specifics around what other data might need to be submitted as part of the data review and approval process.

What will Texas Tech be checking during the data review process?

Texas Tech University will be reviewing the data that districts provide to verify the validity and reliability of the data. More guidance on the data validation process can be found on our Resources page.

Will districts have to submit data every year?

Yes.  Districts will submit data for all teachers in eligible teaching assignments each year that they put forth new teachers for designation.

What if a system is not approved? Can a district resubmit the following year?

TEA will work with districts throughout the step one system review with the goal of approving systems with a high likelihood of passing the step two data validation. Systems that fail to pass the system review or data validation may resubmit the following year.

What does National Board Certification have to do with TIA?

TEA has stated that teachers who receive National Board Certification will automatically be designated as "Recognized" regardless of the district's TIA Designation System.  This designation will be added to the teacher's SBEC certificate and is valid for five years (change to “valid until the National Board Certification expires”).  Region 10 has a National Board Certification Cohort for teachers interested in pursuing National Board Certification.  View more information on the Region 10 National Board Certification Cohort.


Teacher Eligibility

Who is eligible to earn a designation through a local designation system?  What about charter school teachers who are not required to be SBEC certified?

LEAs must verify that each teacher meets the following eligibility requirements before submitting them for a designation:

  • The teacher must be coded as 087 (Teacher) per the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) description of codes for 90 days at 100% of the day (equivalent to four and one-half months or a full semester) or 180 days required at 50–99% of the day and compensated for that employment.

Can interventionists or inclusion teachers earn designations?  

This will depend on how a teacher is coded in district PEIMS reporting. Role ID 087 includes teachers of record, assistant teachers, and support teachers. Interventionists, reading specialists, inclusion teachers, etc., are generally coded as 087. Districts must check with their PEIMS specialists and payroll personnel to ensure that teachers meet eligibility requirements before submitting them for designation.

What if a designated teacher moves to a non-teaching role, such as an instructional coach, counselor, or administrator?

Designated teachers who move to a Role ID other than 087 will maintain their designation. However they will not generate annual allotment funding if they are not in a 087 teaching role for that year of service.

Are designations attached to a particular grade level or subject area?

Unlike certificates, designations are general. The designation will be placed on the teacher’s SBEC certificate and will not specify a certification area or subject/grade level. A teacher may change teaching assignments and will still generate allotment funding. The same applies to National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).

What if a designated teacher's performance level changes within the five-year period?  Can their designation level change?

Teacher designations are valid for five years. Within the five-year period, teachers may be put forth for a higher designation if their performance qualifies them, but they cannot be submitted for a lower designation. Some district spending plans may include variability based on continued performance levels.

What happens after the five-year designation expires?

Designated teachers who meet performance standards and district qualifications can be put forth for a new designation in their final year of designation. Once the designation expires, it will be removed from the SBEC certificate (if applicable) and allotment funding will no longer be generated.

If a teacher decides to try to earn a designation or a higher designation after our initial year, does their payouts last for five years from that point or is it only to the end of the districts five years before the district has to reapply? 

Teachers cannot be put forth for the same or lower designation until the fall after the initial designation expires.  Teachers can be put forth for a higher designation, which restarts the five-year clock.  This means that regardless of where the district is on the five-year clock, a teachers designation restarts with their most recent designation.  Updated designations will be placed on the teacher's certificate for five years.  Teachers cannot have multiple designations appear on their certificate or generate multiple annual allotments.


Spending Questions

Is the allotment for the teacher or the campus?

Funding for teachers designated as Recognized, Exemplary, and Master under TIA will flow to districts, which in turn must spend at least 90% of the funds on teacher compensation on the campuses where the designated teachers work. Statute states that allotment funds are not considered a property right. During the system review process, districts will submit their spending and communication plans for TEA review.

TEC Section 48.114 (i)(1)(A): A district shall annually certify that funds received under this section were used as follows: At least 90% of each allotment received was used for the compensation of teachers employed at the campus at which the teacher for whom the district received the allotment is employed.

What is the funding schedule and will there be spending codes for TIA funds?

For the first year of a teacher’s designation, districts will be notified of funding amounts by designation level and campus in the spring, and funds will arrive the following September in settle-up. Following the initial payment, districts will receive regular funds based on projections according to their regular FSP payment schedule, with settle-up each September.

There will not be PIC codes for TIA funds. Funding and reimbursement of fees will each be a separate line item in FSP payments

If a district does not have a local designation system as part of the Teacher Incentive Allotment, but employs designated teachers, will the district receive allotment funds for those teachers?

Yes. Districts that employ teachers who have earned designations will receive funding for those teachers based on the TIA formula, even if the district does not have an approved designation system in place. For example, a district that does not have a designation system in place could employ a teacher that earned a designation in another district or a teacher who automatically earned a Recognized designation for having achieved National Board Certification. Districts will need to develop a plan for how to spend allotment dollars that they receive, in accordance with the rules of HB 3.

Will the campus socioeconomic tier data be recalculated every year?

Yes. Given that a school’s student enrollment changes yearly, the campus’s socioeconomic tier will be recalculated annually. As a reminder, this calculation uses the home addresses of students who attend a particular campus. Allotment funds for each designated teacher will be based on the campus, and not the individual students assigned to the designated teacher.

If a designated teacher moves campuses from one school year to the next, will the allotment that teacher generates be recalculated?  What if a teacher leaves in the middle of the year?

While designations are tied to the teacher and not their employing district or campus, allotment funds are awarded to the district where the teacher was employed in late February. The district employing the teacher in February will receive funds for that school year and must spend the allotment funds by August 31. The percentage of allotment awarded to the designated teacher varies by district. Districts are not required to forward funds if the teacher resigns or retires before August 31. If a designated teacher moves to a new district or campus between school years, the allotment for the next school year will be recalculated in April based on the new campus’s rural status and level of socioeconomic need.

Will TEA monitor district compliance?

The agency will utilize authority found in TEC §48.004, §48.270, and §48.272 to audit districts in their compliance with Texas Education Code and Texas Administrative Code.


Fees and Reimbursements

Will districts need to submit fees and how will those fees, and reimbursements, work? 

Yes. Districts will pay a $500 fee per teacher put forth for designation at the time of data submission. Once the local designation system is approved, all fees will be reimbursed. See TEC 21.3521(i) and TEC 48.114(g). You can learn more about National Board Certification fees & reimbursements here.

District Fee Submission Form (Word)

Will districts be required to follow the 90/10 spending requirement for reimbursed fees?

Fee reimbursements are not subject to the 90/10 spending requirements.

Will fees be reimbursed if a system is not approved after the data review?

Fees will not be reimbursed until the system is approved. However fees paid will be “credited” when the district reapplies.

Can generated TIA funds be used to pay for fees associated with the Teacher Incentive Allotment?

Up to 10% of the allotment funds can be used towards supporting teachers in earning designations. This may include fees for submitting new teachers for designations.

 

The Question and Answers above are taken from the FAQ's located on the TIA website at https://tiatexas.org/designation-system-faqs/

 

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