Houston: Laying the Foundation for Change
Houston Independent School District
2010 – 2015
Area of Work
Evaluation, Career Pathways, Compensation, Staffing, Retention
In 2009, Superintendent Terry Grier joined Houston Independent School District (HISD) with an ambitious vision: putting a great teacher in every single classroom. To achieve this large-scale reform, HISD needed to rethink its teacher workforce from the ground up.
Since 2010, TNTP has worked intensively with HISD leadership to transform teaching in the seventh-largest district. Together, we introduced a new teacher evaluation system—engaging more than 4,000 stakeholders in the redesign—that gives teachers regular feedback and generates unprecedented data on teacher performance.
From there, we helped HISD use this data to inform key personnel decisions: hiring and retaining strong teachers, helping all teachers improve with better professional development, and designing teacher pay and career pathways that reward excellence.
Today, teachers have more support to improve and ways to grow. In 2014, 45 percent of teachers had development areas identified on their evaluations—up from 3 percent before the new evaluation system—and 450 top-performing teachers have served in school leadership roles over the past three years.
Better information on teacher performance also helps principals build stronger teams. In 2013, one in four schools hired teachers with higher value-added scores—and those schools saw increased student success in reading and math.