April 2015

HR Extras

TEA to distribute principal surveys to collect data on Texas teacher prep programs

In early March, TEA announced that it will soon distribute its annual survey for campus principals to gather information on the performance of first-year teachers and how well prepared they were for the classroom.
 
Campus principals who have first-year teachers on their campuses are required to complete the survey. TEA will post training modules for superintendents, human resources staff, and principals on its Website to ensure that principals know how to complete and submit the surveys.
 
The surveys will be available in the Educator Certification Online System. Principals can earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits for completing them. Survey collection begins on April 7, 2015, with a final deadline of June 15, 2015.
 

Houston ISD teachers, staff earn nearly $22 million in ASPIRE awards 

In February, Houston ISD paid nearly $22 million in performance bonuses to teachers, principals, and other staff for student academic gains in 2013‒14. The bonuses are part of the district’s Accelerating Student Progress, Increasing Results and Expectations (ASPIRE) Program. More than half of the eligible staff (5,771 people) received a bonus.
 
Teachers of core subjects were eligible to receive bonuses ranging from $500 to $13,000 and the mean average bonus paid was $4,924. Teachers of noncore subjects were eligible to receive bonuses ranging from $250 to $3,000 and the mean average bonus paid was $1,785. Principals were eligible for bonuses ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 and the mean average bonus paid was $8,250. Teaching assistants, instructional support staff, and operational staff are also eligible for bonuses.
 
ASPIRE uses a proprietary value-added methodology to determine the amount of bonuses each eligible participant receives.

New research refutes long-held belief that U.S. teachers spend more time teaching

A new study finds U.S. teachers spend more time leading classes than their peers in other countries, but not by nearly as much as previously thought. According to the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Columbia University Teachers College, research shows:
  • Primary teachers (grades K-6) spend 12 percent more time
  • Lower-secondary teachers (grades 7-9) spend 14 percent more time
  • Upper-secondary teachers (grades 10-12) spend 11 percent more time
It is a stark difference from the past notion that public school teachers in the U.S. spend 50 percent to 73 percent more time on instruction than their global counterparts.
 
Samuel Abrams, the author of the study, found that the erroneous data was due to how it was collected by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) and reported to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Abrams said that until the issues are corrected it can distort a comparative analysis of staffing practices between the U.S and other OECD nations. NCES and the OECD are seeking to address the problem. 

New federal contractor rule doesn’t require update of federal poster

We’ve received inquiries about a new rule prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Specifically, school administrators have inquired as to whether our federal worksite poster will be updated to reflect the change, with goes into effect in April 2015.
 
Because the requirement only applies to federal contractors—not school districts—our posters will not be updated to reflect this change. Our posters are typically updated when new required notices pertain to school districts.