The Texas Education Agency has defended an updated appraisal system for teachers that some critics say is not fair to educators.
The TEA, in a statement Monday night, said no school district is required to use the new Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System, or T-TESS.
The updated evaluations, planned by new Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, are available July 1. TEA says it relied on input from Texas teachers who wanted meaningful feedback to strengthen classroom instruction.
The Association of Professional Educators on Monday challenged tying teacher evaluation scores to student performance on standardized tests. Critics of the planned changes say teacher appraisals should be based on observable, job-related behavior.
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The Texas State Teachers Association last week objected to the changes and sued Morath, who took office in January.