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TLE Questions, Answers, and Rubrics

posted Jul 6, 2012, 2:14 PM by Bartlesville Teacher
The BEA website now has a TLE page about the new Teacher/Leader Effectiveness appraisal system which becomes effective in August 2012. The page has viewable and downloadable rubrics for teachers, counselors, librarians, speech/language pathologists, school psychologists, and nurses. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about TLE.

Frequently Asked Questions About TLE

Bartlesville Education Association, July 2012

(You can download a printable version of this at the bottom of this post.)

What is TLE? How is it different from our old appraisal system?

Two years ago Senate Bill 2033, signed into law by Governor Henry, mandated all districts begin using a new appraisal system for teachers and administrators in 2012-2013. Called the Teacher/Leader Effectiveness, or TLE, system, it required a five-point rating scale and tied the earning of career teacher status, reductions in force, and mandatory recommended dismissals to TLE ratings.

Are my TLE ratings based on test scores?

Not yet. The law required that 50% of the rating be based on qualitative measures, 35% on student academic growth using multiple years of standardized test data (or, in the absence of that, on objective measures of teacher performance such as student scores on unit or end-of-year tests), and 15% on other academic measurements. The state has NOT yet adopted a method of implementation for the latter two measures. So for 2012-2013 TLE appraisals will be based entirely on the qualitative measures in the Tulsa Model.

What is all this about different TLE models?

The state board of education approved three different models for implementing the qualitative component of TLE for teachers: models from Tulsa, Marzano, and Danielson. Bartlesville, along with about 500 of the state’s 537 districts, opted for the Tulsa Model, which has 20 rating dimensions, compared to 41 strategies in the Marzano model and 76 elements in the Danielson model.

How is TLE different from what we did before?

The Tulsa Model uses different terms for the appraisal process than our former system:

Old System

New System


Teacher Appraisal System (TAS)

with 22 indicators grouped into 13 categories

Teacher/Leader Effectiveness (TLE)


Tulsa Model has 20 dimensions grouped into five domains

The appraisal system used by the district

Formative Review (4/year)


(1/semester for career teachers with follow-up conference within five days; for probationary teachers two by November and two more by February)

Administrator visits classroom to observe and rate teacher performance

Summative Appraisal




Overall ratings provided after the final observation conference

1/year for career teachers; 2/year for probationary teachers

Professional Growth Improvement plan

Personal Development Plan

Plan of action developed by an appraiser for a teacher to improve in one or more appraised areas, or a stand-alone plan to address a work-related incident or problem outside the context of an observation or evaluation

Our former system had only these ratings: satisfactory, needs improvementunsatisfactory, and not observed. Teachers will now be appraised in 20 dimensions on a rubric with five ratings: Superior, Highly Effective, Effective, Needs Improvement, and Ineffective.

The overall rating is based on a weighted average in five domains:

  • 30% Classroom Management (6 of the 20 dimensions)
  • 50% Instructional Effectiveness (10 of 20 dimensions)
  • 10% Professional Growth & Continuous Improvement (2of 20 dimensions)
  • 5% Interpersonal Skills (1 of 20 dimensions)
  • 5% Leadership (1 of 20 dimensions)

Please note that there are separate dimensions, rubrics, and rating calculations for counselors, librarians, speech/language pathologists, school psychologists, and nurses. You can download those rubrics here.

Where can I find the rubrics used for TLE?

They are shown in Appendix E of the Negotiated Agreement and are available online at beaok.org. Any Highly Effective or Superior ratings in an Evaluation require supporting narrative comments from your appraiser, while ratings of Needs Improvement or Ineffective may lead to a Personal Development Plan and, if unimproved, to eventual dismissal.

What is the timeline for the appraisal process?

There are different requirements and deadlines for probationary teachers than for career teachers.

Probationary teachers, who are those with less than three consecutive years of service in our district, must complete TWO full evaluation cycles each year. Their appraisers must observe them twice, each observation having a follow-up conference within five work days, before a first Evaluation is issued by November 15. Another such cycle must be completed by February 1. So by February 1 a probationary teacher will have been observed at least four times, had four Observation conferences, and received two Evaluations.

Career teachers, who have completed three consecutive years of service in our district, must complete ONE evaluation cycle each year. They are observed at least once per semester, with a follow-up conference within five work days of each observation. Their annual Evaluation must be completed by April 30.

What if I do not do well in an Observation?

You can request, within three days of the follow-up conference for the second observation, a third observation with its own follow-up conference. However, the logistics for site administrators to complete all of the observations and conferences for probationary and career teachers will be formidable, so you are urged to only exercise this option if it is absolutely necessary.

Your appraiser may choose to issue you a Personal Development Plan if you receive a rating of Needs Improvement or Ineffective in one of the dimensions on an Observation, and is required to do so for any such ratings on an Evaluation.

What are the TLE ratings used for?

TLE ratings determine career teacher status for new hires and are linked to mandatory dismissals and reductions in force; it is highly likely they will be used for any future state performance pay plans.

Currently after three years of consecutive service a teacher is granted Career Teacher status, which requires fewer observations and evaluations and also requires cause for dismissal, with a due process dismissal hearing before the local Board of Education. For teachers new to any district in 2012-2013, they are granted Career Teacher status after four consecutive years of employment with Effective or higher ratings on the TLE OR after three years with Superior ratings in two of the three years.

The district is mandated to recommend dismissal of teachers who do not achieve Effective or higher ratings on the TLE:

A career teacher shall be recommended for non-reemployment or dismissal, subject to due process, if:

  • they receive an overall Ineffective TLE rating for two (2) consecutive school years; OR
  • they receive an overall Needs Improvement TLE rating for three (3) consecutive school years; OR
  • they do NOT average at least an Effective TLE rating over a five (5) year period.

A probationary teacher shall be recommended for non-reemployment or dismissal if:

  • they receive an Ineffective TLE rating for two (2) consecutive school years; OR
  • they fail to attain Career Teacher status within a four (4) year period.

The same state law mandating TLE also mandated that TLE ratings become the primary basis for retention and reassignment of teachers in a Reduction in Force (RIF), rather than seniority. However, RIFs are now quite rare since the district need not renew the temporary contracts for its first and second-year teachers. Despite the major cutbacks we’ve had in prior years, we have only had a RIF in a few isolated fields.

Bartlesville Teacher,
Jul 6, 2012, 2:17 PM