Best In Class Impact Report

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Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher

Effectiveness Impact Across Texas

In 2016, the Best In Class Coalition joint venture between Educate Texas and The Commit Partnership supported by Communities Foundation of Texas was formed with the goal of increasing the number of effective, diverse teachers and school leaders, who would then grow the proportion of Texas students on track for college and career success.

Bringing together two leading, uniquely missioned, Texas education nonprofit organizations to drive greater teacher effectiveness across the state by amplifying, scaling, and expanding on the great work of one public school district – and their own respective organizations – was a novel approach. Seven years and $10 million in philanthropic funds invested later, that decision proved to be seminal for education in Texas as it scaled district efforts into statewide policy and programmatic impact.

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SETTING THE STAGE FOR CHANGE: Teacher Effectiveness in the Spotlight

The early 2000s’ national debate about teacher effectiveness and compensation set the groundwork for change. It underscored – and added fuel to – years of teacher preparedness and compensation policy efforts, and countless effective learning environment pilots, all driven by one key learning: The stronger the teachers, the more successful the students.

more of a 21st century career? How do we pay great teachers what they deserve? And how do we raise the bar on teacher quality and effectiveness?

“We unequivocally believe that the number one in-school factor for student success is the effectiveness of the teacher and therefore we leveraged the strengths and the capacity of both organizations [Educate Texas and Commit] and leaned hard into the

successes of Dallas ISD’s innovative effective teaching strategies and programs with Best In Class.”

– Educate Texas Executive Director John Fitzpatrick

As more and more underqualified teachers filled the profession every year, student outcomes decreased, and compensation remained stagnant - with no sign of change. Texas education leaders struggled to find solutions. Critical questions lingered: How do we elevate teaching to become

To further investigate, Educate Texas partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the national Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. The project, which interviewed teachers and analyzed classroom practices of seven districts across the nation to determine the most successful teaching

4 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas

practices, included Dallas ISD. The powerful study results then served as the foundation for Dallas ISD’s development of the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI), a multi-measure evaluation system, across two school superintendents, Michael Hinojosa and Mike Miles.

At the same time, the Texas Teaching Commission (2010) and the Texas Teacher Preparation

Collaborative (2012-13) convened by Educate Texas, decided to take on teacher effectiveness, retention, preparation, and compensation issues through statewide policy efforts. Leadership and the Boards of Directors of The Commit Partnership and Educate Texas, an initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas were aligning on the need to heavily prioritize and fund improving teacher effectiveness.

“We saw a unique opportunity – and a pressing need – to scale an incredibly effective approach to reward and retain our most effective teachers across Texas and to ensure the system was financially sustainable. Seven years later, we’re proud to say that our collective efforts paid off remarkably well for Texas education and the children it serves.”
– Commit Partnership Chairman & CEO Todd Williams
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In 2016, the Best In Class Coalition joint venture between Educate Texas and The Commit Partnership, fueled by Communities Foundation of Texas, was formed with the goal of working together to increase the number of effective, diverse teachers and school leaders, who would then grow the proportion of Texas students on track for college and career success.

These pillars, or continuum of attracting, preparing, developing, and retaining the most effective teachers, were then brought to life through a handful of strategic, key initiatives.

In short, the Best in Class strategy was to:

• Amplify the great teacher effectiveness work already in progress by Dallas ISD;

• Learn from those effective teaching efforts and replicate them across Texas; and

• Ensure a system and state funding exist to pay and retain the most effective teachers.

The partnership addressed the goal through four primary pillars:


Attract a greater number of talented, diverse candidates as teachers and school leaders.


Better prepare future teachers and school leaders to meet the needs of students in our region.


Support teachers and school leaders with opportunities for ongoing learning and development.


Increase retention of our most promising and effective leaders.

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Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) case study with Dallas ISD.


Texas Teaching Commision convened.


CFT hires consultant for strategy development to include Effective Teaching.



ACE expansion in Metroplex through 2018.

Best In Class joint venture established. ACE expansion to additional Dallas ISD campuses.

2020 BIC supports TIA application development. Learning Pilots developed.


HB3 passed to include Teacher Incentive Allotment. Texas Impact Network established.


Sunset Best In Class.


Community of Practice established with Dallas College. Technical assistance to ACE & TIA continued.

A NOTE ABOUT CHRONOLOGY: While the Attract and Prepare pillars are represented first in this report to mirror the continuum of Best In Class’s efforts, BIC’s work chronologically began in the Develop and Retain pillars with the expansion of Dallas ISD’s innovative efforts and scaling those initiatives statewide. As the Best In Class work evolved, it became clear that addressing the Attract and Prepare areas of the continuum was critical to ensuring a diverse and effective teacher workforce.


Each of the four pillars was acted on with intention by Best In Class leadership, supporting and funding Attract, Prepare, Develop and Retain-specific initiatives to move the needle on increasing the number of effective, diverse teachers and school leaders across Texas.



Attract a greater number of talented, diverse candidates as teachers and school leaders.



Better prepare future teachers and school leaders to meet the needs of students in our region.

Best In Class believed that increasing the supply of new teachers meant supporting and attracting more adults with an interest in teaching. To make this happen, Best In Class funded the development of TeachDFW developed advising tools and acted as a hub of preparation and scholarship information and opportunities for aspiring teachers in Dallas-Fort Worth. It also provided one-onone advising and helped candidates with program selection, interviews, and test preparation. To increase

Landscape Analysis + CALDER tool

Grow Your Own – growing your teacher workforce from current students and staff

HS to Teaching Community of Practice (CoP)

awareness of and drive action through TeachDFW, Best In Class then funded a marketing campaign including billboards, targeted online ads, and social media posts. This effort proved successful in driving 38,000 unique visits to the website.

There were important learnings from this work. First, there is value and a demand in creating a central hub of information for aspiring teachers. TeachDFW took out the guesswork for aspiring teachers who otherwise may have been left to a

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simple google search to find an educator preparation program. TeachDFW highlighted more effective pathways into teaching and centralized that information in one place which served as an important resource for teachers interested in teaching in the DFW area. However, the most significant learning from the campaign was that the bulk of the aspiring teachers TeachDFW was connecting with were career changers. These teachers did not reflect the diversity of the DFW area and its students. As a result, Best In Class leadership chose to explore new avenues to focus on diversifying the teaching workforce.

Landscape Analysis + CALDER Tool

Recognizing the need to take a step back, Best In

Class then embarked on a year-long research project across Texas – a landscape analysis of the teacher pathway. The big question: Where in the pathway to teaching to focus to have the greatest impact on teacher workforce diversification and quality?

The research explored how localities “grew” their own teachers and what systems-level changes were needed. Additionally, the research identified pivotal moments in a student’s educational journey, such as when students decided to act on their interest in teaching. Best In Class created a process map to visually represent the key barriers and check points along an aspiring teacher’s journey, including an analysis of research clusters across middle school and high school, the college readiness space, four-year college, teacher readiness, and career entrance.

8 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas WHITE HISPANIC AFRICAN AMERICAN ALL OTHER RACES
The CALDER tool shows, while in Dallas County, the Hispanic and African American student populations are the largest in high schools and graduating with a diploma, there are still huge gaps in the demographics of students 1) attending college and 2) in a position to apply for an educator preparation program and completing certification. In the long run, this leads to a teacher workforce that does not match the diversity of our schools.

After reviewing the results of the TeachDFW campaign and the landscape analysis, the team realized that to make a real difference in teacher supply, they would need to get kids interested in the career of teaching earlier and remove barriers for them to get there.

Best In Class leaned into the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research Tool or CALDER tool, an online resource developed by researcher, Dr. Dan Goldhaber at the University of Washington, to create a “data story.” With the tool, the team focused on Dallas ISD and this premise: If we can look at the high school senior cohort and follow them as they travel to college, to college graduation, and then to career, we can see who persists in the teacher pathway at different

junctures and identify the pockets of opportunity. Taking this approach, what the tool uncovered was that many high schools had highly diverse senior classes, but by the time aspiring teachers entered the workforce, the population was much less diverse. This meant that African American and Hispanic students were not persisting through the pathway at the same rate as their White peers.

Ultimately, Best In Class recognized that traditional thinking about how to attract teachers didn’t ring true, attracting future teachers happens much earlier than was previously thought – not in college, but in middle and high school – which begged the question: How do we start the process earlier and how do we remove barriers for students of color to persist through the pathway to becoming a teacher?

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Grow Your Own

With that in mind, in 2021, Best In Class surveyed the landscape of Greater Dallas-area school districts. The goal was to determine which districts had existing programs aimed at developing their own teachers across a student’s K-12 school journey. The team found that many districts had high school programs to attract students into the teaching profession – most were dualcredit programs earning a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree (AAT) – however, they were of varying quality and intensity. Dallas ISD was at the forefront of these efforts and had already kicked off its Grow Your Own teachers strategy.

Best In Class leaned in as a thought partner to Dallas ISD and their district’s Education Pathway Steering Committee. With learnings from the Dallas ISD steering committee, Best In Class, in partnership with Dallas College, embarked on strengthening regional Grow Your Own efforts. The strategy involved a multi-year process of learning, troubleshooting, then building a robust approach to creating strong district-led programs including working with community college students and institutions of higher education.


“Because of the BIC work, our students have an opportunity to not just get an Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) at no charge, but they also have an opportunity to get a full bachelor’s degree in teaching at no charge because of our partnership with Dallas College.”

According to Sharkey, whose district participated in Grow Your Own efforts on various fronts, the Acceleration to Credits working group “had the greatest impact;” the efforts to align and ensure students’ credits transfer cleanly from the AAT program to any public college in Texas was a game-changer. “Students are now working on their AAT – and earning their educational aid certificate – before they graduate high school. Once they graduate, there are so many options for students to finish their four-year degree and get paid to student teach while doing it. To be able to see a student’s journey back into RISD and into the education field is huge.”

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Year (Learning Year + High Schoolto-Teaching Community

of Practice)

Best In Class and Dallas College pulled together Dallas ISD, Richardson ISD, Grand Prairie ISD – the largest districts in Dallas County – to assess their processes for attracting and retaining a diverse, high-quality teaching workforce. The districts specifically looked at their high school teaching programs. Once analyzed, the Community of Practice pointed to four “levers” that drove the successful development and implementation of high school Grow Your Own teaching programs: workbased learning, mentorship, college and career advising, and college/dual-credit attainment.

Year Two (Expanding the Community of Practice)

With the learnings from the first year in hand, Best In Class focused on expanding the Community of Practice from three districts to 11 across Dallas County, and organized participants into four working

groups, each representing one of four levers identified in the first year of the Community of Practice. The team also onboarded seven colleges and universities – from University of North Texas at Dallas to Texas Women’s University to University of Texas at Dallas – into the groups to share best practices and to tackle important topics, such as “How do we support and prepare our current education pathway students to come back to our districts as effective teachers?”

The goal was to create a high school-to-teaching model that would improve, expand, and diversify the region’s educator workforce by increasing retention and conversion of education pathway students.

Year Three & Beyond

In total, the regional Community of Practice served 11 school districts, seven institutions of higher education (IHEs), and 10 nonprofit organizations by supporting the implementation of and changes to high school teacher education programs. Central to this work were the following:

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When diving into the research on developing a more diverse teacher workforce, the Best In Class team narrowed down to these four core components aimed at developing a student’s self-efficacy. These core characteristics of an effective high school-to-teacher pathway would be the cornerstone to support a student’s ability to persist through college and the teaching certification process while developing key skills to navigate rigorous college and career readiness milestones.

• One-on-One District Support – direct support around designing and implementing work-based learning, mentorship, college and career advising programming, and around data analysis and collecting information from ERC databases

• New Tools and Resources – co-designing tools and playbooks to support further development and improvement of key outcomes-based measures

• Connections (the “Multiplier Effect”) – connecting partner organizations with prospective districts and IHEs to scale programming to support aspiring teachers statewide; and exploring funding mechanisms to connect school districts and regional programs to additional resources and support

Ultimately, the Community of Practice uncovered the importance of dual credit programs and Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degrees and drove an increase in degrees earned in high school, as well as a broader focus on Associate of Arts in Teaching across the state.



“Best In Class plays a really good and important role as conveners. Bringing together important stakeholders in the Grow Your Own teacher pathway work is something that continues to be important to shed light on. I think we take for granted the convening of different stakeholder groups from different organizations and different spaces and it’s not easy.” DeHaas adds that creating the different stakeholder groups created the space to understand the “whys” behind the actions – “the reason X entity or X college, or X university does it this way, now I fully understand the why behind those decisions” which led to greater clarity and ability to make collaborative changes.

“This work is hard and it’s messy, and I think that BIC should be commended for their perseverance in continually addressing really complex issues at a regional level with multiple stakeholder groups and systems at the table. I have been directly involved in the work from the beginning and saw – and continue to see – the value in working along with Educate Texas.”

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Support teachers and school leaders with opportunities for ongoing learning and development.


Increase retention of our most promising and effective leaders.

Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE)

The goal of the Develop and Retain pillars was to ensure that once in the field, teachers and school leaders had opportunities to grow and develop, and that the most promising and effective educators were retained.

Best In Class first focused on growing ACE, a successful school turnaround program initially developed by Dallas ISD. Through strategic staffing and resource allocation, ACE brought the best teachers to the students who needed them the most.


Accelerating Campus Excellence – school turnaround model

Teacher Excellence Initiative – Dallas ISD version of multi-measure evaluation

Teacher Incentive Allotment

Other smaller initiatives: District Days, Teacher and Leader Surveys, Human Capital Experts Working Group, North Texas Learning Acceleration Pilot

The program centered on five core pillars - with aligned interventions - to create a culture of high expectations and outcomes:

1. Effective Principals and Teachers

2. Instructional Excellence

3. Extended Learning for Students and Teachers

4. Social and Emotional Support

5. Parent and Community Partnerships



ACE support by the numbers


On average, during COVID, ACE campuses saw smaller declines in learning loss compared to non-ACE campuses in Dallas County.


55% of campuses supported through ACE saw at least one letter grade increase from time of implementation to 2022.


58 campuses supported across 14 districts. 125,245 students have been supported across these campuses, since 2015.

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ACE schools improved both Math and Reading STAAR performance at a higher percentage year-over-year than state and non-ACE peer averages


All ACE schools saw first-year growth in Math performance and 21 of 22 schools saw first year growth in Reading performance


To-date, all Dallas ISD 1.0 schools that completed ACE saw tier three growth in Math and Reading STAAR performance


In both Math and Reading, African American and Latino students at ACE schools saw improved performance at a rate above in-district comparison schools


While ACE schools see gains in both subjects, performance improvement is greater and more consistent across districts in Math than in Reading

Best In Class worked to replicate ACE at additional Dallas ISD campuses starting in 2015, Fort Worth ISD in 2016, followed by Garland ISD and Richardson ISD in 2017. In 2020, the Best In Class team (in partnership with Cicero Social Impact) evaluated the results of the ACE expansion and found more specifically that:

• ACE campuses across the state saw a positive impact on their students’ STAAR scores during support. Best In Class served 58 campuses from 14 districts from 2015 to 2022 and over 100,000* students across the seven years of implementation.

• As a result of Best In Class’s work, over 26,000 quality seats were added in Texas schools.

• ACE campuses saw smaller declines in learning loss compared to non-ACE campuses in Dallas County during the COVID-19 pandemic: (-6% vs. -15% change in “meets STAAR performance” from 2019 to 2021, grades 3-5, all subjects) despite being in communities more likely to be impacted by COVID.

*Students in totals may be duplicative as a student may have been impacted by ACE work multiple times across the years of implementation. These totals highlight the total seats each school year BIC impacted.

*Due to changes in the state’s accountability rating system, letter grades were calculated for schools that previously did not receive one. If the school did not receive a grade their year of implementation due to COVID-19, the previous year’s score was used to calculate their increase.


SCHOOL YEAR 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 20118-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 NUMBER OF STUDENTS 3,918 3,940 9,662 16,721 22,832 24,656 26,549 14 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas

ACE - Beyond North Texas

After supporting efforts in North Texas, Best In Class expanded to support 14 Texas districts as a technical assistance provider through the Texas Education Agency. Best in Class published the ACE Toolkit (a planning and implementation guide) in partnership with Education First, and the Results Delivery Toolkit (a change management guide) in partnership with Bain & Co. These efforts resulted in 55% of Best In Class-supported campuses seeing an increase of at least one letter grade from implementation to 2022 and played a role in the codification of major statewide reforms, such as the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA). PARTNER


Mr. Stovall supports the principals of all Dallas ISD ACE schools and was also the ACE principal who led the transformation of persistently low-performing Titche Elementary school in Pleasant Grove. After one year of ACE implementation, Titche became a B-rated school with several distinctions and became an A-rated campus the next year.

“You don’t turn around the school focusing on students, you turn it around by focusing on the adult habits. Our emphasis was on more professional development, feedback, and turning it around quickly.”



“ACE is changing the changing the narrative about Black and Brown communities on our campus…when you have the right people in front of students and the right instructional agenda, your kids can do anything.”

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Burnet Elementary School was an F-rated school prior to ACE implementation. Just one year after implementation (2021-22), the school achieved a B rating.

“Probably the biggest thing that I take away from my school year is that for true transformation, you have to be consistent with what the change needs to be. The expectation didn’t waiver as far as what students were accountable for as well as the culture.”



Bowie increased a full letter grade in Year one of ACE implementation.

“Bowie has moved from being the worst ranked middle school in Ector County ISD to being competitive with the top performers.” * The

In aggregate, all five ACE implementation years continued to outperform their district “Meets Grade Level” average growth rates in both Math and Reading, closing opportunity gaps for both African American and Latino students from 2021 to 2022.

percent change in
Grade Level” results for the ACE campuses (indicated in blue) compared to their district‘s overall average (indicated in green and includes both non-ACE and ACE campuses within the district). This data shows that on average, ACE campuses were better able to support students’ learning loss postCOVID and were better able to close opportunity gaps for their Latino and African American students.
IN THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS THAT ACHIEVED “MEETS GRADE LEVEL” 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Hispanic Reading 47.70% ACE District 52.13% 95.50% 101.40% 26.32% 42.86% 28% 45.16% Hispanic Math African American Reading African American Math 16 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas
FROM 2021 TO 2022

Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI)

Another element of the strategic Develop and Retain effort was expanding the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI), a Dallas ISD-created evaluation system. TEI measured teacher impact through multiple measures, including student growth and student voice. TEI led to meaningful differentiation of evaluation ratings and rewarded the most effective educators. Best In Class worked to share the impact of TEI statewide and influenced the legislature’s passage of House Bill 3 (HB3) in 2019 which created the Teacher Incentive Allotment and built the path for scaling practices based on the TEI proof points.

Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA)

House Bill 3 (HB3) established the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) to recognize Texas’ most effective teachers. Through a local designation system, teachers can earn one of three designations: Recognized, Exemplary, and Master.

Each designation generates additional teacher-focused allotment funding for districts to reward their top performers. As a TEA technical assistance provider,

Best In Class supported districts in applying for and implementing the TIA within 30 school districts. Best In Class published a variety of tools and resources to stand-up and scale this work including:

• Strategic Evaluation Toolkit: Developed in partnership with Education First, the toolkit helps school district leaders develop a strategic evaluation system for teachers in their district

• Teacher Incentive Allotment Toolkit: This toolkit provides TIA-application and implementation support

• TIA Framework: Developed in coordination with TEA, this framework builds internal staff capacity at Education Service Centers (ESCs) to support strategic evaluation and compensation models

• Capacity Building Diagnostic: A tool used by organizations and ESCs that support districts with the implementation of TIA

*This model was implemented in FY20 with nine ESCs, all of which selfreported via a diagnostic tool (created by Best In Class) a feeling of proficiency in all core competencies and domains, a significant improvement from the baseline diagnostic assessment in August 2020.

TIA support by the numbers


Districts awarded over $120,000,000 since FY21. 85% increase in drawdown available to campuses supported from FY21 to FY23.


5,090 teachers were designated in FY23. Nearly 70% increase in teachers designated in FY23 compared to FY21.


30 districts received support that served over 600,000 students in 2022. Supported districts across 18 different counties throughout the state.


17 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas BEST

“There is bi-partisan, statewide support for continuing to grow the Teacher Incentive Allotment to reward even more teachers (up to 50% of the state’s educators) and that willingness has clearly been driven by the data and the fact that system-wide uptake has been so strong, due in part to the supports of our Best In Class and Texas Impact Network joint ventures with Educate Texas.”

– Commit Partnership Chairman & CEO Todd Williams


FISCAL YEAR FY 21 % GROWTH 21-22 FY 22 % GROWTH 22-23 FY 23 NUMBER OF TEACHERS 2,298 +59% 3,672 +39% 5,090 18 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas

Other Develop & Retain Initiatives

To bolster the ACE, TEI and TIA efforts, Best In Class also led other initiatives to further support the development and retention of teachers and educators, leveraging partners when possible. These included District Days, North Texas Teacher and Leader Surveys, North Texas Learning Acceleration Pilot (NTxLAP), and the Dallas County Human Capital Working Group.

District Days

Best In Class developed, launched and implemented District Days from 2017 to 2021. These five meetings per year convened over 50 districts, and focused on three components:

1) Strategic Educator Evaluation System alignment to the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA)

2) Development, implementation, and continuous improvement of the ACE model

3) Results Delivery framework (Change Management) planning and implementation delivered by Bain & Co.; and Human Centered Design framework implementation delivered by Cicero Social Impact

North Texas Teacher and Leader Surveys

In partnership with Bain & Co., Best In Class conducted North Texas Teacher and Principal Surveys annually from 2017 to 2021. A comprehensive, representative sample of teachers and principals from 10 North Texas districts were surveyed year-over-year to assess a wide variety of issues, values, and views. The surveys were both quantitative and qualitative and had approximately 2,000 respondents annually.

The survey covered everything from demographics to values to experiences with educational support for Attract, Prepare, Develop and Retain pillar initiatives. Additionally, it asked about views on major social issues from 2020 and 2021, and attitudes towards issues of unity and division most salient in Texas. Survey questions aimed to gauge teacher and principal perspectives and to better understand their experiences.

Best In Class used the resulting insights to inform its work, shared the data with districts, and supported districts in acting on the survey’s insights.

* More than 90% of participants attest to District Days being an effective use of their time

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ensures teachers and students are supported in the pursuit of college and career readiness. Time is spent meeting the unique needs of their students and building their capacity as educators by focusing on the following:


Ensure that students spend most of their time learning gradelevel content.


Ensure that pivots to previous grade-level content are purposeful and serve to access grade-level content.


Ensure that students can access gradelevel content with meaningful supports that maintain instructional rigor.


uses proven strategies that accelerate students’ true access to grade-level content as quickly as possible.

North Texas Learning Acceleration Pilot (NTxLAP)

In the wake of COVID-19, Best In Class assisted 15 campuses in five partner districts (Dallas, Grand Prairie, Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Garland and DeSoto ISD) in COVID recovery and learning acceleration – using research-based strategies that give students access to grade-level content as quickly as possible.

Best In Class partnered with TNTP to build the Learning Acceleration Pilot, which was grounded in TNTPs research in The Opportunity Myth, to address gaps that had been present before, and only exacerbated by the pandemic. TNTP’s research found that in the nearly 1,000 lessons observed, students were working on activities related to class 88% of the time, met the demands of their assignments 71% of the time, yet students only demonstrated mastery of grade-level

standards on their assignments 17% of the time. That gap exists because so few assignments actually gave students a chance to demonstrate grade-level mastery. This begs the question: why are students not accessing on-level materials and how can districts support the adoption of curriculum and materials that are gradelevel appropriate?

The goal of the pilot was to address this challenge by supporting the adoption and use of High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM), which would lead to higher-quality classrooms and better access to on-level material. The pilot also aimed to identify barriers to HQIM adoption in current campus and district systems and make recommendations to mitigate them. The resulting learnings and recommendations included providing supports – such as curriculum audits, classroom walkthroughs, professional development for integrating new materials, and

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change management planning – to integrate into partner districts’ existing structures.

Additionally, the insights and findings from the pilot supported the work of the 88th Texas Legislative Session and the passage of HB 1605, which intended to provide teachers with grade-level, departmentvetted resources and instructional materials aligned to state standards. Since then, two pilot districts (Dallas and Grand Prairie) have expanded their adoption of HQIM and are now implementing them in all classrooms.

Dallas County Human Capital Experts Working Group Pilot

Conceived as an outgrowth of the work-based learning working group of the Dallas County Regional HS-to-Teacher Pathway Community of Practice, the Human Capital Working Group came


• Empathy interviews with students, teachers & community members to understand needs


• Group common responses to find themes

• First iteration of portrait

together in the 2022-2023 school year. The goal was to share best practices, collaborate on solutions to alleviate staffing issues caused by the teacher shortage, and consider how district human capital-related functions can support the recommendations made by the state’s Teacher Vacancy Task Force.

To ensure students and teachers were at the core of their solutions, this group engaged in a humancentered design visioning process facilitated by the Principal Impact Collaborative (PIC) to develop the “Dallas County Portrait of a Teacher.” This step allowed district human capital leaders to build a vision of the ideal teacher and align tools including job descriptions, screeners, interview questions, walkthrough/observation tools, and evaluation processes to this vision.

After completing the Teacher Portrait, each district in the working group engaged with Bain & Co. to complete a system diagnostic to reflect on their own human capital practices. Districts also engaged in learning presented by Bain across three key human capital functions: talent acquisition, talent management and development, and talent retention. At the conclusion of the year-long pilot, each of the


• Rounds of additional empathy interviews

• Integrate feedback to develop final Portrait of a Teacher


• Audit of hiring & evaluation tools against Portrait of a Teacher

11 participating districts committed to “quick wins” in each of the three human capital functions. Some commitments included:

• Updating job descriptions to align to the group’s co-designed Portrait of a Teacher

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An educator who embodies a growth mindset, is a continuous learner who is adaptable to constant and consistent change.

An educator who has a growth mindset, models the importance of taking risks in a challenging time.


An equitable teacher seeks out talent in every child, creating opportunities where children can explore through culturally relevant experiences in culturally affirming spaces.

Recognizes diversity by acknowledging their own personal bias to adapt the learning environment for all children.


Teachers are reflective risk takers who find freedom in making mistakes.

Teachers work to shift the educational paradigm by empowering learning through a culture of creativity, seeking new experiences and being bold.


Teachers create high expectations in an environment where students have agency over their learning.

Empowering teachers create meaningful connections and inspire students to reach their maximum potential.


Educators provide safe space for students to be their authentic selves by being welcoming and create a sense of belonging.

The educator is intuitive and responsive to students needs.


• Aligning acquisition tools with evaluation tools to ensure districts were hiring for and ultimately evaluating for the same characteristics

• Building a talent retention philosophy to differentiate themselves for incoming talent, beyond compensation


Across the seven-year joint venture, Best In Class scaled best practices statewide across 50+ districts, collectively educating over 11% of students in the state. Key programmatic highlights and inflection points include:

• Leading the development and expansion of Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE), a school turnaround program which placed and incentivized the most effective teachers at the lowest performing schools, from Dallas ISD to 14 districts and 58 campuses across the state.

– Benefited over 100,000 students across Texas and achieved incredible results including Dallas’ Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School (low socioeconomic status school) outperforming Highland Park Elementary School (high socioeconomic status school)

• Providing proof points from ACE and testimony from teachers, district leaders, and staff that led to the blueprint for the state’s $1 billion investment for districts to implement and scale the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA.)

– Funding has been reupped over the past several legislative sessions for a total investment of $3 billion

22 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas

• Translating the legislative recommendation through Best In Class and the Texas Impact Network (a second joint venture with Commit) to enable nearly 40% of the districts across the state to implement the TIA opportunity. Best In Class supported 30 early adopting school systems in designing and implementing their TIA systems. TIA now impacts 481 school systems educating 57% of Texas’ public-school students (3.1M)

• Funding the development of TeachDFW, part of the national online platform, which supported efforts to recruit more diverse candidates into the teaching profession and guide them through high-quality preparation programs. The website yielded 38,000 unique hits as a result of the campaign.

• Supporting and expanding the Grow Your Own strategy within Dallas ISD and working with several other districts to understand how to build a robust system for working with community college students and institutions of higher education early in their education journey and through college.

• Developing the Dallas County Regional High School-to-Teacher Pathway Community of Practice which has mobilized 11 school districts and seven colleges and universities in North Texas committed to attracting and preparing high school students to enter the teaching profession through high-quality dual credit programming and university-based teacher preparation programs.

Statewide RE ACH and DEPTH of Best in Class Initiatives

Stacking of initiatives amongst our partner districts (2017-2023)

23 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Teacher/Leader Survey Communit y of Practice District Day ACE TIA North Texas A cceleration Pilot


By its very nature, the Best In Class joint venture with Educate Texas and Commit fueled by Communities Foundation of Texas was an “experiment” - one that was intended to push boundaries, challenge assumptions and create change. And it did just that. Best In Class accomplished great things, and in doing so, learned a lot along the way.

Lessons Learned

Across the seven years and many studies, partnerships and initiatives, the Best In Class team learned a great deal about the process of creating statewide change, particularly as it relates to teacher effectiveness.

• Partnership Drove Greater Impact: By combining efforts, Educate Texas and Commit drove greater campus adoption of ACE and TIA in North Texas, initiated significant statewide systems change and created an effective statewide advocacy voice in the legislature. The partnership allowed for leveraging of expertise and reduced competition among organizations.

• Scaling Efforts Statewide Requires Statewide Investments: The North Texas TEI strategic compensation model and the Dallas ISD school turnaround model served as the blueprints for the statewide expansion and scale of the

Teacher Incentive Allotment and ACE as a TEA School Action, however, without statewide support and investment, these efforts could not have grown the way they did. Investing in alignment with state priorities created greater impact for both state and philanthropic funding.

• Context Matters: While Best In Class initiatives provided blueprints, fidelity of implementation required deep technical assistance to make change a reality in districts. No matter how strong the blueprint, districts desired technical assistance to adapt initiatives to their own needs and unique contexts. While not part of the original design of the partnership, direct and intensive technical assistance was essential to achieve goals.

• Every Change Needs a Champion: Best In Class worked towards systems-level change, which becomes difficult and even impossible when the initiative does not have the support of the district’s superintendent, cabinet level leadership, and a “champion” who will drive the work from within the district.


Best In Class was a model for partnerships and its legacy will impact the next iteration of both Educate Texas’ and The Commit Partnership’s work.

24 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas

Texas Impact Network: A Second Educate Texas and Commit Joint Venture

Understanding the urgency and necessity to help school systems implement new funding and associated initiatives from HB3 in 2019, The Commit Partnership and Educate Texas partnered to create a second formal joint venture, the Texas Impact Network (TIN). The goal was to support implementation of key policies from Texas’s House Bill 3 (HB3).

Specifically, HB3 had three provisions that districts could choose to pursue: (1) Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA), (2) College, Career & Military Readiness Outcomes Bonus Funds (CCMR OBFs), and (3) Additional Days School Year (ADSY). TIN was set in motion to provide support to pioneering school systems who wanted to implement these initiatives.

Since its launch in September 2019, TIN has worked with regional partners across the state. Over the last three years, the focus was helping school systems create and implement Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) systems. Through the support of philanthropic partners, TIN has invested over $2.2 million in catalytic capital to jumpstart district TIA systems. To date, 26 school districts directly supported by TIN have begun drawing down state funding totaling over $42 million between FY21 – FY23.

Educate Texas’ Teaching & Leading Moving Forward

Leaning on the lessons learned from Best In Class and through a continued commitment to teacher excellence and diversity, Educate Texas is focused on ensuring the work continues and expands across Texas.

Following a robust strategic planning process, the Teaching and Leading team at Educate Texas set a bold topline goal:

By 2030, Educate Texas will contribute at least 100,000 effective educators to the diverse teaching workforce by developing and advancing programs, policies and partnerships that attract, prepare, develop, and retain teachers and education leaders.

Educate Texas will create sustainable system changes through three strategic priorities:

1. Pathways: Creating multiple high-quality pathways for young people and community to enter teaching

2. Human Capital Management: Ensuring district human capital has talent strategies and systems that allow the district to staff their schools with talent that meets the needs of their students and community

3. Instructional Leadership & Development: Building the infrastructure and capacity that supports the system to refocus the role of campus and district leaders on instructional leadership.

25 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas



students were directly impacted by BIC


in philanthropic funds invested in BIC, and successes of BIC initiatives led to $3B being invested by the Texas Legislature in state resources since 2019, such as the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA)



BIC-supported TIA systems statewide have drawn down $120M since 2021 and designated funds for over 5K teachers districts across Texas have been supported by BIC

students in Texas attend a school district impacted by a BIC initiative. benefitted from BIC

26 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas
26 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas

MEDIA & FURTHER READING measures-of-effective-teaching-project-releases-final-research-report

27 THE BEST IN CLASS COALITION: Seven Years of Effort & A Lifetime of Teacher Effectiveness Impact Across Texas



Impact made possible by our district partners

Aldine ISD

Alief ISD

Anderson-Shiro Consolidated ISD

Anthony ISD

Austin ISD

Brooks County ISD

Canutillo ISD

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD

Cedar Hill ISD

Cleburn ISD

Crowley ISD

Dallas ISD

Denton ISD

DeSoto ISD

Duncanville ISD

Ector County ISD

Edgewood ISD

El Paso ISD

Fabens ISD

Fort Worth ISD

Frisco ISD

Fruitvale ISD

Garland ISD

Grand Prairie ISD

Harmony Public Schools

Houston ISD

IDEA Public Schools

Iola ISD

Lancaster ISD

Leadership Academy Network (FWISD)

Lubbock ISD

Marshall ISD

McAllen ISD

Mesquite ISD

Midland ISD

Nacogdoches ISD

Navosoto ISD

Olfen ISD

Ore City ISD

Pawnee ISD

Pflugerville ISD

Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD

Plano ISD

Richardson ISD

Rochelle ISD

San Antonio ISD

San Elizaro ISD

Sinton ISD

Slaton ISD

Somerville ISD

Springlake-Earth ISD

Stafford ISD

Temple ISD

Tornillo ISD

Transformation Waco

Tyler ISD

Uplift Education

Victoria ISD

Waco ISD


With heartfelt thanks to our generous funders

Communities Foundation of Texas

Bank of America Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Byrne Family Foundation

Ellen Wood

Fluor Foundation

Mike and Mary Terry Foundation

M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation

Rainwater Charitable Foundation

Raise Your Hand Texas

Texas Education Agency

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