Frequently asked questions
I’ve heard that the student achievement component in Dallas ISD's Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) is fair. Is this true?
Proponents of TEI say:
Three metrics are used, and the teacher gets credit for the best of the three.
Even if the student isn’t on grade level the teacher will get credit for academic “growth” shown.
No less an organization than the American Statistical Association raises serious concerns about the lack of reliability with VAM for evaluating teachers.
Peer-reviewed research, that included Dallas ISD 4th and 8th grade teachers, found weak to nonexistent relationships between VAM measures and the quality of teachers’ instruction. The author said, “Given the growing extent to which states are using these measures for a wide array of decisions, our findings are troubling."
The Intensive Partnership for Effective Teaching was a six year national study that mirrored the TEI model and found no improvement in student outcomes and no improvement in teacher effectiveness.
While there is information to be gleaned from standardized tests, current tests were not designed for nor are they capable of what is called high-stakes use, such as grade advancement, participation in advanced coursework, salary determination, and failing and closing schools. And when a test-based metric is given such importance, the focus of instruction becomes test centered, reducing or eliminating subject areas that aren’t tested.