In response to contacts from some TCTA members that they were being required to perform significant hours of school/community activities in order to receive a proficient rating in Domain IV of T-TESS, TCTA is working with TEA to provide more clarity regarding proper evaluation by appraisers of Domain IV.
Specifically, the school/community activity requirements being made of our members appear to stem from one of the descriptors in the Proficient column in Dimension 4.4 of Domain IV, relating to teachers actively participating in all school outreach activities.
In discussing this issue with TEA, it was noted that appraiser training for T-TESS specifically covers the notion that appraisers are to evaluate dimension and domains based on a preponderance of the evidence collected, not just one particular piece of evidence.
As a first step, TEA recently released a Fall 2023 T-TESS Tips document, which provides implementation guidance and key considerations for appraisers in evaluating Domain IV.
Included in the guidance is the statement that “Unlike Domains 1-3, evidence for Domain 4 is collected throughout the year. The summative score for Domain 4 should not be made by the appraiser until after the teacher has been afforded the opportunity to present evidence related to all dimensions.” (emphasis added). It also says, “Appraisers should determine performance level indicators in Domain 4 based on a preponderance of evidence over the course of the year.”
Regarding Dimension 4.4, a “key consideration” identified by TEA is that “Teachers actively participate in, or lead, school- and district-level activities or decision-making forums to support making campus and/or district improvements toward achieving the mission and vision of the school community.”
This speaks to the kinds of school and community activities that are contemplated for purposes of this dimension in T-TESS.
TCTA will continue to work with TEA to further support our members regarding this issue and will provide updates as they occur.