Strive for success with T-TESS

May 18, 2023
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Eduphoria! Inc. is Texas born and raised. In July 2004, the founders of Eduphoria! launched an innovative web-based software to help Texas principals and teachers manage PDAS, the Texas Professional Development Appraisal System. They didn't know then that the Eduphoria PDAS application would become the most widely used evaluation software in the state of Texas, used by over 70% of districts.

When the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced that it would be building a new evaluation system, our team at Eduphoria knew we would again be able to provide an effective tool for school leaders and educators. Many pilot districts have already vetted and used our Appraise application, allowing customizable evaluation frameworks to be created.

Eduphoria leaders and the TEA met to discuss the new appraisal process. Discussions included logistics, philosophy, and future plans for both the evaluation and student growth piece. At the same time, Eduphoria's team of experienced trainers and instructional specialists attended regional T-TESS and T-PESS trainings.

"Texas' T-TESS and T-PESS evaluation process will challenge schools to move from a compliance system like PDAS to one that is focused on goal setting, conversation, feedback, and most importantly, educator growth." ~Shanna James, Eduphoria

As soon as districts started using the new TESS (Texas Evaluation Support System), Eduphoria was the first to respond. Within the initial pilot year (2014-15), Eduphoria provided free Appraise licenses to over forty pilot districts. During the second year, Eduphoria offered updated software to over 150 districts. Pilot districts used Appraise to manage goal setting, walkthrough documentation, and the evaluation rubric for observations and summatives.

By partnering with pilot districts and continuous learning from the TEA and Regional Service Centers, we were able to collect feedback on needs of appraisers and teachers as they transitioned to using a new evaluation tool. That feedback has helped guide our development and Appraise software enhancements.

Some of the key features in Strive include:

  • A robust goal-setting feature that allows for dimension tagging, documented conversation, and evidence uploading.
  • Embedded frameworks for T-TESS, T-PESS, and your custom evaluation tools.

Eduphoria is an approved technical assistance provider for TIA the Teacher Incentive allotment. If your district is interested in using Strive to support T-TESS and T-PESS or want to learn more about how Eduphoria can support your district with TIA we would love to hear from you!

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