In Dallas ISD teachers are evaluated and compensated annually using the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI). It is an education Reform merit pay model in which teacher pay is based in part on student's standardized test scores. ​


The problem is that academic research has shown that current standardized assessments (STAAR) have too little sensitivity to differences in instruction to warrant their use for teacher evaluation. 


A. This research included DISD 4th and 8th grades students and teachers found that TEI (a value-added model) does not reflect the quality of teacher's instruction. The author stated,


"Our findings show that (value-added models) are not picking up the things we think of as being good teaching...our findings are troubling.

We expected to see that instruction aligned with state standards and assessments would strongly predict value-added teaching performance measures on those assessments, but that wasn't the case," said Polikoff.


Read more here:

B. Of particular concern, are the findings of Pivovarova and colleagues, published in 2016, that the, “teacher-explained share of overall variability in standardized test score gains is estimated as low as 3% …with the most recent published estimates being in the range of 1%–14%.” See 2. Point 1, third paragraph for this statement:

C. Regarding the use of Value-Added Model approaches, no less an organization than the American Statistical Association raises serious concerns:


D. The six year, $575 million national study titled “Improving Teaching Effectiveness: Final Report” proved it to be a failure. This study incorporated the exact model of TEI:

Despite mounting research to the contrary, DISD continues to purport that TEI is a valid teacher evaluation system. 

You can express your concerns about TEI to the following people at DISD: (Ben Mackey, President of the Board of Trustees) (Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent of Dallas ISD) (Robert Abel, Chief of Human Capital Management or HCM)

The statistical model used in DISD's TEI is named CEI