New proposal focuses on recognizing effective educators

We commend House efforts to move the ball forward on meaningful recognition and rewards for excellent educators with the recent committee approval of House Bill 198.

Research shows that effective teachers improve outcomes for students.1 As such, improving educator quality is one of the most impactful changes we can make at the state level to prepare our students for success.

We are pleased that instructional excellence is being discussed during the legislature’s special session. Though many competing proposals surfaced, we believe House Bill 198 by Representative Travis Clardy is the most promising among them.

Though the bill no longer includes mandatory pay increases, the latest version of HB 198 is a meaningful effort to put emphasis on recognizing great teachers in the state of Texas. That version was passed out of the House Public Education Committee yesterday with a unanimous vote.

CSHB 198 creates state-level designations for effective teachers, allowing them to receive additional distinctions on their certification based on their performance. It places a strong emphasis on including educators in the process of defining eligibility standards as well as the selection of accomplished, distinguished, and master teachers.

Introducing an avenue for teachers to show their effectiveness has the potential to help transform the profession. By recognizing our best and brightest educators, we not only applaud them for a job well done but also provide an important indicator of effectiveness. These distinctions would likely be used for advancement and compensation decisions at the local level, which encourages instructional improvement at the classroom level.

We would like to thank Chairman Dan Huberty and Rep. Clardy for moving this important legislation forward and Governor Abbott for including teacher quality in his special session call. Additionally, we urge lawmakers to keep the ball rolling so Texas’ school and district leaders can identify and reward the state’s real change agents: effective educators.

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1.  Hanushek, E., Kain, J., & Rivkin, S. (1998). Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement. (NBER Working Paper 6691). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

We believe every Texas child, regardless of race, ethnicity or zip code, deserves a quality education. You can help make that happen.