Talent Dashboard now available in the HR Library

by Patti Ellis

TASB HR Services has created a new tool, a Talent Dashboard, which can be downloaded from the HR Library. While some Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) include analytics and dashboards, many HR Services members may not have access to this feature. Our new Talent Dashboard is a tool that can be used in absence of an existing analytics tool.

Read on to find out what dashboards are and how they can impact your workforce decisions.

What is a dashboard?

Dashboards are a way to visually present information that can be reviewed at a glance. Consider a vehicle’s dashboard: in one scan you can see how fast you are going, how your engine is performing, and how far you have traveled.

In analytics, dashboards perform in much the same way, but the options are limitless when looking at the types of data that can be presented. When it comes to human resources, a basic trio of information typically includes employee demographics, recruiting efforts, and retention.

Effective use of dashboards

A dashboard is only as good as the information provided. Think of data as being the same as a car’s fuel. If the fuel is bad, the car will not perform as expected. In order for you to get the most out of a dashboard, below are a few key elements to remember:

Maintain accurate HRIS data
This might seem obvious, but everything starts with the initial entry of the data within the system. Having a solid internal process for entering and checking data is critical to maintaining a clean system of record. Setting up checks and balances for data entry by having a second employee reviewing entered data and regularly auditing information are just a couple of ways to achieve greater system accuracy.

Know your report fields
Many systems have multiple fields with varying levels of detail or description for the same piece of information. For example, if you're seeking to report on employee status, you must carefully consider what you wish to report on and which field holds that information. If you're looking to simply report on employees who are active versus inactive, you'll want to retrieve information from the field that holds that baseline status (e.g. Active, Terminated) and not from a field that contains reason codes (e.g, Performance, Layoff, Other Job).

Set appropriate report criteria
In addition to considering what data you need to include (report fields), it's also critical to understand who you're including (employee types) and for what time frame (effective dates). Most reporting tools within HRIS allow you to set up filters or criteria to specify the type of information that shows on your report. One small oversight in how the criteria is set up can lead to a potential misrepresentation of the facts.
It may be important to exclude certain employees from reports, depending on what types of employee data are needed for analytical purposes. For example, if evaluating retention from year to year, you may wish to exclude temporary persons from reports. Or, if determining benefits costs, only including benefit-eligible employees is necessary.
Additionally, there are many different ways to view information from a timing perspective. Real-time data shows you current information as it's entered into the HRIS. This type of view is possible to obtain if your HRIS is directly integrated with a dashboard. Most other scenarios involve downloading or exporting information from an HRIS based on dates established in the reporting criteria. It's important that users carefully consider the snapshot of time desired (e.g., school year, fiscal year, calendar year, calendar month) and remain consistent with that choice.

While it does take some time to get a report set up correctly, once it has been established, the template can be saved and re-run at the desired frequency (e.g., monthly, quarterly, annually) to ensure consistent data comparisons.

What the data can tell you

Those responsible for making workforce decisions get a lot of questions from many different stakeholders. Below are some common questions that can be answered using the dashboard.

How many applicants have applied? For what positions?
What are the demographics of applicants? How do they compare to current employees?

Employee Workforce Demographics/Diversity
What are the demographics of our workforce?
Do the demographics vary by employee type?
Do we have a diverse workforce?
How do employee demographics compare to students?
How much experience do our employees possess?
How many employees might be close to retirement?

What is the average compensation among varying roles or employee types?
What is the total compensation package for employees?

Absenteeism/Leaves/Substitute Utilization
On average, how often are employees taking time off?
Is there a pattern (Friday/Monday, before holiday weekends, after a long holiday)?
What types of leaves have staff taken this year?
How does substitute use compare among different campuses or campus types?

How are employees performing?
Does performance vary among employee types?

Employee Relations
How many formal corrective actions have been completed?
How are these distributed by department or campus?

What is the overall retention?
Does it vary by employee type?
Is it mostly voluntary or involuntary turnover?
What reasons are employees providing for leaving?

When first starting out, it may be helpful to begin with basic information. As familiarity grows, data points can be added for a more comprehensive analytical tool.

If you have questions about our dashboard please call or e-mail HR Services. We’d also appreciate any feedback you may have. 


How the new intern certificate differs from a probationary certificate

by Karen Dooley
Effective September 1, 2017, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) will begin issuing an intern certificate, in addition to the probationary certificate.

At first glance, the new intern certificate might remind you of the current probationary certificate, with the exception of being able to substitute completion of coursework for the passing of the appropriate content area certification examination(s).

Certificates are required for individuals, other than an educational aide, completing certification through an educator preparation program (EPP) that requires an internship (19 TAC § 230.36–230.37). The main differences between the two is the type of tests an individual must pass and how long an individual may serve on the certificate.

For either certificate, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree, except as otherwise provided in SBEC rules related to certain career and technical education certificates based on skill and experience
  • Meet the general certification requirements prescribed in 19 TAC § 230.11
  • Pay the prescribed fee
  • Meet fingerprint requirements
  • Be a participant in good standing of an approved Texas EPP, serving in an acceptable, paid, supervised internship

Classroom teacher

To be eligible for either certificate, a teacher candidate must pass all of the appropriate certification content examination(s). For an internship in a career and technical education classroom teacher assignment based on skill and experience, a candidate must satisfy the requirements for that subject area and pass the appropriate content certification examination(s). The probationary certificate requires an additional requirement of passing the appropriate pedagogy and professional responsibilities (PPR) examination.

Assignments other than classroom teacher

A candidate for an assignment other than a classroom teacher (i.e., superintendent, principal, reading specialist, master teacher, school librarian, school counselor, educational diagnostician) must also meet the following criteria:
  • Meet all requirements established by the recommending EPP,  based on the qualifications and requirements for the class of certification sought and the duties to be performed
  • Be accepted in a Texas EPP that has been approved to prepare candidates for the certificate sought
  • Be assigned in the certificate area sought in a Texas school district, open-enrollment charter school, or other school approved by the TEA
A candidate for an assignment other than classroom teacher must pass the appropriate certification examination(s) to be eligible for the probationary certificate. In contrast, an intern certificate may be issued before an individual passes the appropriate certification examination.

Length of certificate

The intern and probationary certificate are valid for a 12-month period from the date of issuance. However, an intern certificate cannot be renewed or extended. A probationary certificate may be renewed for one additional 12-month period.

Final thoughts

Be aware: as of September 1, 2017, exceptions that allowed an EPP to place a special education, bilingual education, or English as a Second Language candidate in an internship before passing the certification examination will no longer apply.

New website helps HR find certified candidates

by Zach DiSchiano

Based out of Austin, TX, and founded by a group of former University of Texas students and athletes, CoachesConnect is a brand new web community for teachers, coaches, and administrators to network and find employment.

The idea behind CoachesConnect is to provide a platform similar to LinkedIn but cater specifically to certification-based positions in K-12 schools. Teachers and coaches begin by setting up a profile, much like they would for any other social media website, and listing all of their qualifications, work experience, and certifications. This allows administrators to easily browse and identify ideal candidates for their vacant positions.

Job seekers have the ability to establish their own preferences, such as what job they’re looking for and whether or not they’re willing to relocate. A user’s profile informs administrators of his or her contract status, education, work history, certifications, and sports expertise.

The site also has a space for groups, where users of similar interests can join and network. Candidates also can follow a school to be regularly notified of new postings or other news.

School profiles reveal the number of students on campus, the city the school is located in, recent activities, and number of followers.

CoachesConnect was founded by Brett Valdez, Justin Blalock, David Mortellaro, and Tim Keyes in an effort to, according to the website, give back to all the teachers and coaches who help kids every day.

According to Valdez, the site was designed specifically to serve two main purposes:

  1. To give administrators the ability to search, find, recruit, and ultimately hire the best personnel available for their campuses.
  2. To give coaches (of any kind) and teachers (of any subject or skill) a dedicated platform to list their teaching certifications and coaching experiences, and then be able to collaborate, innovate, share ideas, and network their careers as they desire.

As of now, there are more than 285 total users, 40 school administrators, and 250 high schools and middle schools in the Austin and Dallas areas. The website is completely free to use, so districts looking to become early adopters of a new recruiting technology can do so by signing up.

For more information, check out the Coaches Connect Website.


HR Extras

Dallas ISD’s performance pay system shows positive signs

Teacher pay in Texas is based on seniority in nearly all school districts. So when Dallas ISD rolled out its performance-based pay system—Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI)—in 2014 all interested parties were eagerly anticipating the results. New data from Dallas County nonprofit Commit! sheds some light on the effectiveness of TEI. According to Dallas Morning News, trends gleaned from DISD’s 2015–2016 school year data indicate:
  • Higher teacher retention. In the TEI system, teachers rated in the top six out of nine performance levels (Proficient or above) have a higher retention rate than the statewide average.
  • More effective teachers. Thirty-six percent fewer teachers were rated unsatisfactory in the district.
  • Higher teacher pay raises to the most effective teachers. Overall, the average teacher salary in DISD increased 3 percent, while compensation for teachers at the highest proficiency levels increased by 7 percent or more.

Teachers want more professional development on digital tools

A new report from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt surveyed teachers and administrators from all 50 states on a variety of topics, including classroom technology, professional development, and more.

Listed below are some interesting takeaways from the survey:
  • 98 percent of educators use digital tools at work
  • 48 percent of educators want classroom coaching to integrate technology effectively
  • 86 percent of educators spend personal money on professional development
  • 32 percent of teachers reported a lack of professional development in digital tools was of great concern to them
  • Facebook is the most popular social media tool used by educators to communicate with their students' families

To download the full report, visit the HMH Website.


Inside HR Services

2017‒2018 Superintendent Salary Survey now underway

Be sure to submit your TASB/TASA Superintendent Salary Survey by the August 25 deadline. This survey is the leading source of total compensation data for Texas’ top school executives. Your participation ensures your data is in DataCentral to create custom market comparison reports.

Reminder: the 2017–2018 District Personnel Salary Survey launches September 5. Program and salary survey contacts will receive an e-mail invitation. The annual survey covers teacher pay and teaching field stipends, as well as more than 130 benchmark jobs common in Texas public school districts.

Contact us at 800.580.7782 or salary.survey@tasb.org if you have any questions.

Annual HR Department Calendar available in HR Library

It's important for an administrator to know when HR responsibilities need to be performed to plan for the daily, weekly, monthly, or annual demands placed on the department. Determining the needs of the district is the first step in establishing a department calendar. One way to do this is to review board agenda items for each month of the previous year, noting when particular items were presented to the board for consideration and action. This information can then be used to meet essential deadlines.

This chart is an example of how major responsibilities can be organized into an annual calendar. Administrators can edit this list to meet their needs and fit the district’s actual practice. Some activities may need to be shifted to align with the district’s fiscal year (e.g., salary- and payroll-related activities).