What is TEI?


TEI stands for the Teacher Excellence Initiative. Dallas ISD describes TEI as a combination evaluation and compensation system. Teachers are categorized, A-D, and evaluated using three components. 

TEI teacher category chart.small.png


1. Teacher Performance - Teacher observations are conducted periodically during the year to assess teacher preparedness, classroom environment, instructional delivery, and professional development.

2. Student Achievement - The best of three metrics are used for the student achievement score:

  • STAAR pass rate

  • Value-added growth (VAM)

  • Student growth percentile (SGP)

3. Student experience - Each April a survey is conducted to measure a student's perception of the teacher. 


Points from the three components are totaled for the evaluation score. The score maps to an effectiveness level, which determines the teacher salary. This is what's known as performance or merit pay.

TEI Scorecard.Sample.png

Teachers won't receive scorecards until September of the next school year, though they're required to sign a contract of employment month(s) prior to knowing their effectiveness level and pay.


TEI is a targeted or forced distribution pay system, which means the total number of teachers allowed in each effectiveness level is limited. For example, the sample scorecard above rates the teacher at an effectiveness level of Proficient I. DISD’s target distribution (chart below) allows 35% to be paid at a Proficient I salary. If more teachers qualify than allowed, they will be shifted downward to a lower pay scale. This is done by adjusting the cutoff scores, known as "cut scores" as shown below for TEI category A teachers. 

TEI Target Distribution 20-21.png
Cut Scores in TEI