IMPORTANT NOTE FROM THE
NATIONAL TROOPS TO TEACHERS OFFICE
On August 26, an interpretation discrepancy between the legislation and current draft policies regarding financial assistance eligibility was brought to our attention by OSD. This relates to the three year registration requirement for any member who becomes entitled to retired or retainer pay vs registration requirement of someone who has been transferred to the Retired Reserve.
OSD has directed that until further notice, any retiree (AD1s) that did not register within the three year window should NOT be sent a bonus or stipend application until OSD review of the policy is complete. OSD and the national office is fully aware of the implications and are working diligently towards a solution.
All applications currently on file will be held in a pending status and reevaluated once further guidance is provided.
Teresa A. Daniels
Assistant Chief, Troops to Teachers
Please contact the Texas TTT office at 1-800-810-5484 for further clarification.
What is Troops to Teachers?
Texas Troops to Teachers (TTT) is a federally funded program designed to assist retiring and separating military veterans to become teachers in their next careers. Since its beginning in November 1995, the Texas Troops to Teachers Office has counseled over 27,000 veterans, advising them on routes and programs to achieve full teacher certification in Texas, and referring them to districts for employment. Texas leads the nation in the number of veterans who have become teachers, with over 3,000 hired since 1995.
Nationally, the Troops to Teachers Program is funded by the federal Department of Defense, but is managed by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) office in Pensacola, Florida. The DANTES office manages the registration of TTT participants, distributes all funding, and maintains contact with TTT participants who have received financial benefits.
At the state level, the Texas Troops to Teachers Office provides information and guidance to participants on all aspects of teacher certification. Texas TTT works with teacher certification programs to assist our participants in selecting the program that will work best for their certification process. We actively market the TTT program to all university and alternative certification programs, and provide funding to eligible participants to help pay for their certification programs and incentive bonuses for those who teach at high-needs schools. The Texas TTT office works closely with military installations to be sure that all eligible veterans who want to become teachers are aware of the benefits available from TTT. All service members and veterans, whether they qualify for funding from TTT or not, are encouraged to contact the Texas TTT office for information and assistance in becoming teachers in Texas.
To register for the Troops to Teachers program, click here.
Three New Systems to Impact
Administrators and Teachers in Texas
Thousands of administrators and teachers across the state will be training in three new systems over the next nine months. The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS), the Texas Principal Evaluation and Support System (T-PESS) and Advancing Educational Leadership (AEL) will be implemented over the 2016-2017 school year.
Most every teacher will be evaluated based on the T-TESS standards-driven rubric, while most principals will be evaluated, for the first time ever, based on the T-PESS rubric. The Advancing Educational Leadership system, most likely attended by all new administrators, was designed to develop the specific relational skill sets in leaders necessary to implement T-TESS and T-PESS successfully.
All three systems (T-TESS, T-PESS, and AEL), emphasize that it is the responsibility of every educator to consistently hold themselves to a high standard for individual development and performance; to identify methods to collaborate with other educational professionals, within and beyond the school, so they can engage in purposeful and targeted professional learning opportunities, seek feedback and refine practices.
The T-TESS rubric includes specific dimensions, descriptors and performance levels, including Planning, Instruction, Learning Environment, and Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR). This involves multiple points of communication: Collaborative Goal Setting to establish growth targets; Preconference before a formal classroom lesion observation; Post Observation feedback, and End of Year summary of annual progress.
At the end of year summary, every teachers receives feedback on an area of demonstrated strength, or “Reinforcement,” and an area to target for improvement, or “Refinement.” T-TESS includes five performance levels: Improvement Needed, Developing, Proficient, Accomplished and Distinguished. “Proficient” represents and strong, solid teacher.
T-PESS is constructed on the five Texas Principal Standards as defined by TEA: Instructional Leadership, Human Capital, Executive Leadership, School Culture and Strategic Operations – what Texas principals should know and be able to do. The T-PESS rubric communicates performance criteria along a continuum of ratings that differentiate performance between a novice and a distinguished principal, creating a path for performance improvement, to be used as a systemic annual cycle. The principal and evaluator follow seven points of communication: Orientation, Self-assessment and Goal Setting, Pre-evaluation Conference, Mid-year Progress, Consolidated Performance Assessment, end-of-year Performance Discussion, Final Evaluation and Goal-setting Meeting.
Advancing Educational Leadership (AEL) facilitates participants’ recognition of the connections and relationships between and among the major functions or strands of school leadership through five conceptual themes: Creating Positive School Culture; Establishing and Sustaining vision, Mission and Goals; Developing Self and Others; Improving Instruction; and Managing Data and Processes, all aligning to the principal standards established by TEA.
Recent Development Regarding Testing
House Bill 2205, signed by Governor Abbott, and effective September 1, 2015, limits the number of times a candidate may take an exam:
"A person may not retake an examination more than four times … a person who initially took an examination before September 1, 2015, may retake the examination up to four times after that date, regardless of the number of times that the person attempted to perform satisfactorily on the examination before that date."
It is important that you prepare for the exam BEFORE taking it.
Click here for a list of Test Preparation Resources.
Master of Art in Teaching Science
at the American Museum of Natural History
A fellowship opportunity is currently being offered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. They are currently accepting applicants for the class that will matriculate in June 2016 and encourage potential applicants to go to their onsite Open House on Saturday, February 6th.
Applicants can also visit the program website to join the mailing list and get more information at www.amnh.org/mat.
Contact them directly at: email@example.com or (212) 313-7464.