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Analysis of Data from the Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS)


Description: The Texas Education Agency (TEA) undertook a major pilot of a new educator evaluation system, the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS). TEA identified the need and opportunity for analytics to better understand and improve the system on the basis of this pilot prior to the continued and rapid roll-out of T-TESS, which is scheduled for the 2015/16 school year. During the pilot year, T-TESS will include two components: (1) an observation rubric consisting of 16 items (“dimensions”) categorized into 4 domains of teaching and (2) a student growth measure (value-added).

REL Southwest researchers will statistically examine the relationships among the components and explore different approaches to combining component scores to create actionable composite or summative scores. This is a key avenue toward increasing the use of valid and reliable multiple-measure educator evaluation systems and toward improving their applicability for professional development and personnel decisions.

Research Questions:

  1. Do T-TESS component and item scores differentiate teacher performance?
  2. Does the T-TESS summative score differentiate teacher performance?
  3. Are T-TESS component scores associated with characteristics of students or school-level variables?
  4. Is T-TESS internally consistent? Are there positive correlations between T-TESS elements?
  5. Can T-TESS be made more efficient by combining items that measure the same concept and/or removing items yielding duplicate or irrelevant information?
  6. What methods for calculating composite scores can be proposed based on the statistical properties of T-TESS components?

Study Design: Data, which will be provided by TEA and associated vendors, will include (1) scores on the T-TESS observational rubric, (2) value-added scores, and (3) school- and class-level administrative and human capital data.

Analysis will include score distributions, descriptive statistics, and parameter estimates to address research questions 1 and 2; correlational analysis to address research questions 3 and 4; exploratory factor analysis to address research question 5; and principal component analysis to address research question 6.

Projected Release Date: Summer 2017

Research Alliance: Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance

Study Related Products: Stated Briefly report, What's Happening report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
Valeriy Lazarev, Ph.D., Empirical Education, Inc.