Group to explore where HISD is as a district, where it’s going, and what needs to be done to get there
In 2010, HISD launched the Effective Teachers Initiative to provide targeted support for teachers to better meet the needs of their students and ultimately to improve student achievement.
This year, the district is continuing to prioritize instructional practices to ensure effective teaching and excellent school leadership by convening an advisory group that will strengthen the way teachers are supported and to reward practices that promote student achievement.
“We want to make HISD a district of choice for top teachers, reward teachers who continually make a difference for their students, and make sure our teachers are receiving the support they need,” said Chief Academic Officer Dan Gohl. “In order for this to happen, we need to make improvements to the way we support and compensate teachers.”
The new advisory group, or Professional Educators Compensation and Support (PECAS) committee, is made up of more than 120 teachers, principals, and central office staff and held its first meeting on Sept. 22. Members of the group were nominated by HISD Board of Education members, school support officers, curriculum managers, teacher and principal associations, and central office staff. The invited teachers and principals represent 84 unique schools and a wide range of grade levels and subject areas. Of the participants, more than 80 are teachers, 30 are principals, and 14 are central office staff.
“Teachers make up the largest percentage of PECAS members because they are the ones most impacted by the decisions,” said Erica Deakins, manager of innovative projects in the Curriculum Department. “This group will play a key role in helping HISD refine the way we support and reward our teachers.”
The PECAS committee will work to understand where things stand now, think critically about where the district needs to go, and discuss challenges and explore next steps. In order to break down the complex assignment, the group will be divided into three sub-committees that will examine the issues of base pay, the Teacher Appraisal and Development System (TADS), and bonuses/incentives. They will consider questions such as:
- What improvements can be made to make sure that TADS is being used to improve instructional practice?
- What resources and supports do teachers and school leaders need?
- Which of the potential options for teacher compensation include the best model for including effectiveness and experience in base pay?
- Which priorities should be rewarded through bonuses and incentives?
Sub-committees will meet once or twice a month into late winter to consider improvements to our current systems for appraisal, development, and compensation and to provide feedback on the district’s future plans.
“We look forward to working with the participants of this committee and want to thank them for their leadership as we continuously strive to improve the district as a whole,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Andrew Houlihan.