COMMUNITIES FOUNDATION of TEXAS
2014 Impact Report
Case Study: Effective Teaching and Human Capital in School Districts, continued What have we learned, and what is our focus moving forward? This session saw the passage of legislation that provides for continuous improvement of policies that aim to enhance various components of the teacher pipeline. We look forward to supporting the implementation of these bills over the next few years. This legislative session also provided some critical improvements in and changes to effective teaching policies aimed at strengthening the teaching profession and ultimately increasing student success. A key lesson from this session is that there was a significant lack of understanding regarding the challenges of current teaching policies. Throughout the Texas Teaching Commissionâ€™s work and the dialogue with legislators, it was evident that we each define the concerns differently. We hope to continue to highlight the importance of using evaluation systems to provide feedback to teachers to improve their teaching and to identify the classroom support they need. To address this need, we plan to educate and raise awareness among policymakers about the value of improved systems, bringing together various stakeholders to increase understanding. The education focus of this last session was on the changes to the state assessment and high school curriculum requirements and structure, thus allowing for limited attention to and time for other education policies, including those impacting effective teaching. As partners with the state, Educate Texas will also assist in efforts to implement HB 5 and to ensure that intended rigor and college readiness are maintained as it is rolled out. Through our work over the past year, we have been working with districts across the state to identify how different instructional strategies (designed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) could be utilized to support their professional development and increase their effectiveness in the classroom. We are increasingly finding that Texas school districts are interested in seeing how to best pilot strategies and policies that will address all aspects of the teaching continuum (e.g., recruiting, preparing, hiring, inducting, evaluating, developing, compensating, and retaining).