HISD to move to new teacher evaluation system

HISD announced plans to transition to a new teacher evaluation system (T-TESS) next school year (SY 2022-23) and to apply to Texas’ Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) in spring 2023. Both opportunities will unlock statewide resources capable of benefiting HISD students, teachers, and administrators at scale.


HISD is implementing T-TESS to establish a clear vision of excellence across the district, with a focus on teachers. Through T-TESS, HISD will provide targeted feedback to teachers and create new opportunities for coaching to support teacher development. Adopting T-TESS will also unlock the state’s vast professional development, evaluation, and calibration resources, which will help the district ensure its system is equitable and fair. T-TESS aligns with HISD’s core beliefs and priorities regarding teaching and learning and will drive improvements in student growth and achievement.

T-TESS has three broad components: goal setting and professional development plan, the evaluation cycle, and student growth measure. Beyond these three components, the T-TESS framework provides flexibility for HISD to design the details of its evaluation system. Beginning in fall 2021, HISD began the process of designing T-TESS with the goal of full implementation by fall 2022. Through the T-TESS design process, the district has had the opportunity to collaboratively build a teacher evaluation system that incorporates the wisdom and expertise of the HISD community.

T-TESS Progress and Timeline

This winter, HISD introduced key T-TESS design decisions to the T-TESS committees. Their recommendations, along with input from technical assistance providers, parents and community members, and district departments, will inform the final recommendations that are brought to the board in spring 2022.

Spring and summer 2022 will be a critical time leading up to full implementation in September. Beginning this winter through the end of the year, appraisers will complete T-TESS training, committees and district leaders will finalize the T-TESS system design, and focus groups will share feedback on T-TESS and its implementation plan. Teachers will receive formal training starting late spring through the next fall before T-TESS is fully rolled out across the district by the start of the school year.

If you are an HISD teacher or administrator and have questions, feedback, or concerns around HISD’s transition to T-TESS, please register for one of our three focus groups on January 31-February 2. Click one of the links below to register for your chosen date:

If you cannot attend these focus group sessions or are other HISD staff, pleaseshare your feedback here or email T-TESS@houstonisd.org.


TIA is a program that supports the recruitment, retention, and placement of highly-effective teachers in high need districts and schools through performance-based bonuses. As announced in Spring 2021, HISD is eager to participate in TIA because it will increase salaries for the district’s highest performing teachers – at little-to-no cost to the district – and ensure every child has equitable opportunities.

TIA Progress and Timeline

HISD recently made the decision to delay its TIA application to spring 2023 (Cohort F) to increase its chances of approval by the TEA. TIA requires a robust year of stakeholder engagement to design an evaluation system that fairly and accurately assesses teacher performance. Delaying to Cohort F will give HISD time to ensure its TIA application is as strong as possible and fully reflects the needs and desires of the HISD community.

This has not stopped HISD from moving forward with TIA this year. Throughout the fall and winter, district leaders have been meeting with stakeholders on an ongoing basis to make decisions related to the design of our evaluation system. Two committees – one made up of teachers selected through a rigorous application process, and another of principals and administrators –  have been reviewing relevant design decisions and making recommendations to be brought before executive leadership in January. These decisions will ultimately be incorporated in the application HISD submits to the TEA in spring 2023, for initial implementation the following fall.

Click here to read more about TIA and T-TESS in HISD. Your input is valuable during this period of innovation and transition.