House Bill 3 (HB 3), passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in June of 2019, established an optional Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) to provide a realistic pathway for top teachers to earn six-figure salaries and to help attract and retain highly effective teachers in high-needs areas and rural district campuses. Districts that choose to participate are charged with developing local teacher designation systems that measure teacher effectiveness based, at a minimum, on both teacher observation and student growth data. The local designation system review is conducted by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Districts that are approved through the system application process are required to undergo data validation for each teacher put forth for designation, which is conducted by Texas Tech University (TTU) before final teacher designation approval is issued.
To implement the Teacher Incentive Allotment, House Bill 3 requires districts to develop a system for identifying highly effective teachers under the three designation categories –Master, Exemplary, and Recognized. Integral to this task is the setting of “performance and validity standards” to ensure that the identification process yields reliable and comparable results across the state.
Designations must be submitted to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for approval and undergo a data-validation process, which will be conducted by TEA in partnership with TTU. As part of the validation process, TTU will:
- Review alignment between teacher observation ratings and student performance ratings
- Review alignment between student performance ratings and value-added ratings for applicable teachers
- Review data validity by appraiser/rater, by campus, across campuses in a district, and by teaching assignment
- Compare district data to state data by comparing the percentage of teachers a district puts forth for designation to overall district performance
Part of the data validation process will include a review of the accuracy of how district systems align their designations to the statewide performance standards.
For a teacher to earn a designation or generate allotment funding they need to meet the following criteria each year. First to be employed as a teacher based on an annual February snapshot and second to work in a teaching role full time for at least a semester and at least half time for the entire year. Beginning 9/1/2021, after the passage of HB 1525, teachers no longer need to have an active SBEC certification to earn a designation or generate an allotment. Teachers with National Board Certification may be eligible to earn an automatic Recognized designation. Designations are added to a teacher’s SBEC certificate and are valid for five years.