In the first part of our PDAS Primer,  we began discussing the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS).  We answered general questions, discussed the Teacher Self-Report and took an in-depth look at the observation system.  This section  will outline cumulative data, intervention plans, and summative conferences.

Is my appraisal based ONLY on what happens during the 45-minute observation?

No.  The appraiser can use information gained during walk-throughs, outside the classroom, and even by other people.  This is called “third party” data.

What are the requirements for documentation?

Appraisers have the responsibility for providing a written observation report after the completion of 45 minutes of observation. They are required to give written documentation within 10 working days of anything related to a teacher’s appraisal that would influence the teacher’s evaluation. Appraisers are encouraged to provide feedback on other walk-throughs and/or observations. On campuses where the appraiser is other than the principal, any documentation that has been shared with the teacher must be communicated with the principal.

What if a walk-through is done and no feedback is provided?

The appraiser is required to given written documentation within 10 working days of anything related to a teacher’s appraisal that would influence the teacher’s evaluation.  If no documentation is provided, the teacher has the right to assume that the walk-through was good.  The teacher certainly should keep a list of each and every time someone visits the room and no feedback is provided.

What is cumulative data?

Cumulative data is any documentation that the appraiser appropriately shared with the teacher and is considered to be in the summative appraisal of the teacher.  This information can be from the evaluator or even a third-party.

What is the definition of “third-party information” and will the teacher be told who provided the information?

Third-party information is information related to a teacher’s performance that originates from a source other than the teacher, the appraiser, or the teacher’s supervisor. If the appraiser plans to use third-party information as part of the teacher’s appraisal, it should be verified and shared in writing with the teacher within 10 working days of the appraiser’s knowledge of the occurrence. The principal will also be notified in writing if the appraiser is not the teacher’s principal. [TAC§150.1003 (f)]. The identity of the third party may be provided to the appraised teacher only upon request. On campuses where the appraiser is other than the principal, any documentation that has been shared with the teacher must be communicated to the principal.

Are you saying that anyone (parent, student, etc.) can tell my evaluator something and it can be used on my appraisal as “third- party” information?

Yes, but it must be documented.  Generally, there are five components of effective documentation that must be followed.
  1. Dated: Date of the occurrence, date of notification to the teacher.
  2. Factual/Specific: Specify the who, what, when, and where related to the evidence.
  3. Explicit: Relationship to domain and criteria. (It is suggested that language from the framework, the “Scoring Standards and Performance Level Standards” sheet and the “Scoring Criteria Guide” be used for clarity.)
  4. Behavioral: Identify the behavior the teacher should change if the documentation indicates unacceptable behaviors or areas suggested for change.
  5. Validate: Provide information as to what the teacher is expected to do and place it in the context of the event.

What process do teachers follow to make counter-comments to the administrator’s comments on any documentation presented to them, including observation reports, walk-through documentation, and summative appraisal forms? Will a teacher’s rebuttal to an appraiser’s comments be included in the teacher’s personnel file?

Teachers may submit a written response or rebuttal within 10 working days after receiving a written observation summary form or any other documentation associated with the appraisal and/or after receiving a written summative annual appraisal report [TAC 150.1005 (a) and (b)]. The teacher’s written response or rebuttal becomes a part of the appraisal and is kept with the teacher’s appraisal records.  This includes any information from the above.  

Intervention Plans (Teacher in Need of Assistance)

When can a principal do an intervention plan?

Under the Commissioner’s Rule 19 TAC §150.1004(a) a teacher is designated as a “teacher in need of assistance” under the following:
  • A teacher is evaluated as unsatisfactory in one or more domains; or
  • A teacher is evaluated as below expectations in two or more domains.
An intervention plan must be developed for any teacher designated as a “teacher in need of assistance.” The intervention plan for a “Teacher In Need of Assistance” must address all the domains in which the teacher is less than proficient. Under TAC §150.1004(f), an intervention plan may be developed at any time at the discretion of the appraiser when the appraiser has documentation that would potentially produce an evaluation rating of “below expectations” or “unsatisfactory” in any domain. As an instructional leader, the principal may offer suggestions for improving instruction informally, or formally with an intervention plan at any time.

What is the timeline for an intervention plan?

The timeline for the intervention plan is a local decision and is determined by the appraiser, in consultation with the teacher. The timeline of the intervention plan may be established so that the intervention plan is completed prior to the deadline for contract decisions.

Must the Intervention Plan for Teachers in Need of Assistance include all domains for which a teacher shows less than proficient performance?

Yes. Teachers in need of assistance must be notified of all domains in which their performance is less than proficient. However, campus and district administrators have raised concerns about overwhelming a teacher with an intervention plan that calls for significant improvements in a number of areas. In these cases, the intervention plan can be written in such a way that its completion can be staggered. For example, an intervention plan may call for a teacher to work on one or two domains, with specific performance behaviors and objectives targeted and completion date indicated. Improvements in performance in remaining domains may have later completion dates. If a teacher successfully completes the first set of performance objectives, then he or she would move on to the next set of targeted performance objectives, and then the intervention plan would need to be re-evaluated by campus/district personnel. Important:  Failure to complete an Intervention Plan is grounds for termination!  Call your association if you find yourself on any plan calling for improvement.  

Summative Conferences

What is the purpose of the summative conference?

The primary purpose of the summative annual conference is to review the written summative report and related data sources. The conference may also provide an opportunity for the appraiser and teacher to discuss strategies for improving instruction.

May the summative conference be waived?

Each teacher is guaranteed a summative conference. The summative conference may be waived in writing by the teacher, but not by the appraiser.

May documentation collected after the summative conference be included in the appraisal of a teacher?

Any documentation collected after the summative conference, but before the end of the contract term during one school year, may be considered as part of the appraisal of a teacher. If the documentation affects the teacher’s evaluation in any domain, another summative report shall be developed and another summative conference shall be held to inform the teacher of the change (s).

What is considered in the Summative Annual Appraisal Report?

The following must be considered when completing the Summative Annual Appraisal Report:
  • The observation summary (ies),
  • Any cumulative documentation that has been shared with the teacher (including documentation from walk-throughs and/or additional observations and any additional documentation), and
  • the Teacher Self-Report in its entirety.