Teaching is hard. Without strong supports—like competitive compensation, strong professional development, and regular feedback—becoming a more effective teacher can be difficult. On top of it, if you're teaching in a large district or school, it's hard not to feel like you're growing in your practice like you had hoped.
Through the Educator Effectiveness Process (EEP), teachers and school leaders in charter schools in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Phoenix are getting the support they need and want to be successful in providing a world-class education to their students.
With Youth Empowerment Services, Inc. as the non-profit sponsor, the goal of EEP to make sure that every child has an effective teacher from Day One. EEP is funded by two US Department of Education grants, Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF5) and Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program (TSL).
So why are new and experienced educators choosing to work in our schools? Here are just a few reasons:
Funded through the TIF5 grant, below is an overview of the key components that are aimed at ensuring there is an effective teacher in every classroom.
EEP implemented a differentiated Performance Based Compensation System (PBCS) for teachers and principals.
Teachers deemed effective earned a payout based on their observation scores and their school-wide value added score OR their teacher-student value added score linking them to the individual students in their class.
Principals deemed effective earned a payout based on their observation scores, the effective implementation of EEP on their campus, state accountability and the school-wide value-added score for their campus.
Due to the differentiation of the components and the scores, no teacher or principal received the same incentive payout.
Transparent, rigorous and fair observations with interrater reliability were key to determining the effectiveness of the teachers and principals.
Using the EEP Teacher Observation Rubric, teachers were observed three times per year by Certified Teacher Observers.
The standards-based instructional rubric was used continuously to give teachers opportunities for growth and reflection on best practices, leading to improved effectiveness.
Certified Principal Observers observed the principal of each campus four times per year using the Principal Observation Rubric.
EEP provided comprehensive and practical professional development (PD) focusing on powerful teaching and instructional improvements based on the needs assessed at the high-needs schools that EEP services.
The job-embedded PD provided in the 1,536 postobservation conferences and the 13,85 campus unit meetings has been found to be the most valuable PD in the promotion of educator effectiveness.
Activities incorporated research-based, high-quality focus on increasing the capacity of teachers and principals to raise student achievement with direct links to teacher and principal evaluative data.
Numerous hours of outside contracted PD were sponsored by EEP including the attendance at the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers and the Conference for the Advancement of Math Teachers, and the National Charter School Conference.
EEP combated the challenge of recruiting and retaining effective teachers by setting a clear path for upwards progression for educators within their own campuses.
After a competitive and rigorous process that included performance reviews, career teachers moved up to become Career Teacher Leaders responsible for groups of teachers called Units.
Then the same the same teachers moved up to Expert Teacher Leaders responsible for Units and Career Teacher Leaders.
Through EEP professional development and implementing EEP with fidelity, we have seen the following promotions:
There have also been two (2) principals promoted to district administrative positions.