Eddy’s News

Strive for Success with T-TESS…. Let Eduphoria do the Rest!

Eduphoria! Inc. is Texas born and raised. In July 2004, the founders of Eduphoria! launched an innovative web-based software to help Texas principals and teachers manage PDAS, the Texas Professional Development Appraisal System. They didn't know then that the Eduphoria PDAS application would become the most widely used evaluation software in the state of Texas, used by over 70% of districts.

When the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced that it would be building a new evaluation system, our team at Eduphoria knew we would again be able to provide an effective tool for school leaders and educators. Many pilot districts have already vetted and used our Appraise application, allowing customizable evaluation frameworks to be created.

Almost two years ago, Eduphoria leaders and the TEA began having regular meetings and conference calls to discuss the new appraisal process. Discussions included logistics, philosophy, and future plans for both the evaluation and student growth piece. At the same time, Eduphoria's team of experienced trainers and instructional specialists attended regional T-TESS and T-PESS trainings.

"The new T-TESS and T-PESS will challenge schools to move from a compliance system like PDAS to one that is focused on goal setting, conversation, feedback, and most importantly, educator growth." ~Shanna James, Eduphoria! Trainer

As soon as districts started using the new TESS (Texas Evaluation Support System), Eduphoria was the first to respond. Within the initial pilot year (2014-15), Eduphoria provided free Appraise licenses to over forty pilot districts. During the second year, Eduphoria offered updated software to over 150 districts. Pilot districts used Appraise to manage goal setting, walkthrough documentation, and the evaluation rubric for observations and summatives.

By partnering with pilot districts and continuous learning from the TEA and Regional Service Centers, we were able to collect feedback on needs of appraisers and teachers as they transitioned to using a new evaluation tool. That feedback has helped guide our development and Appraise software enhancements.

We discovered through the past year and a half that the transition to an entirely new evaluation system can create some stress and challenges for schools and the leaders. Instead of worrying about learning a new piece of software, we want educators to focus on the new evaluation rubric and process. We believe the Appraise application will be the tool that helps districts make a smooth conversion from PDAS to T-TESS.

Districts can expect a seamless transition from Eduphoria's PDAS to Appraise software since the user interface experience is very similar in both applications. The ease of use will allow administrators to focus on learning the new evaluation rubric rather than learning a new software. Teachers and administrators will also be pleased with the upgrades and enhancements added based on pilot district feedback. We will even provide free training documentation, as well as videos and live webinars to help districts get started!

Some of the new features districts can expect in Appraise include the following:

  • A robust goal-setting feature that allows for dimension tagging, documented conversation, and evidence uploading.
  • Copying of custom evaluation templates from PDAS to Appraise.
  • Embedded frameworks for T-TESS, T-PESS, and your custom evaluation tools.

There is no charge for current PDAS customers to switch to Appraise. Eduphoria offers competitive pricing through our sales office (contact sales@eduphoria.net) or through our partner ESCs.

This is just the beginning. We are bridging the gap between educator evaluation and professional development. In the near future, Appraise and Workshop will come together to become Strive. This innovative tool will allow teachers and administrators the ability to manage the process as they learn, grow, and STRIVE.