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TEAM, APEX underscore
Excellence for All Children

Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, the State of Tennessee will require an evaluation of every certified educator on an annual basis. This evaluation process is called TEAM (Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model), and is specifically designed to improve student academic success by identifying and supporting effective instruction. TEAM determines where teachers are working effectively, then appropriately harnesses and shares best practices through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) that provide opportunities for real and meaningful support.


TEAM evaluations include multiple measures and are made up of three components:
• 50 percent observation data from trained and certified instructional leaders;
• 35 percent student growth results; and
• 15 percent student achievement data.

Going forward, personnel decisions—including promotion, retention, tenure and compensation—will be based in part on TEAM evaluations. The Tennessee Department of Education is committed to refining the new evaluation framework through feedback and careful study over time, particularly during the first year of implementation.

Through Race to the Top and Innovation Acceleration Fund, the Knox County Schools were fortunate to secure more than $10 million in federal competitive-grant funding to use in the design and implementation of a district-wide strategic compensation plan. The program is called APEX: Advance. Perform. EXcel The grant funding is available over the next three to five years, with a goal of incorporating APEX in our general operating budget if proven successful.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Strategic Compensation?

Using compensation “strategically” means aligning the finite resources a school organization has with its desired goals. In most schools across the country, 70–80 percent of expenditures are dedicated, in some way, to personnel costs. How these monies are allocated and spent shapes schools and our ability to achieve our goals.

Knox County Schools’ (KCS) APEX strategic compensation system reflects our belief that our compensation system should be aligned to our most important instructional goals and that we must continue to focus on high-level student learning through effective classroom teaching.

In our next issue, we will review eligibility for APEX and the award amounts.

Reminder: Don’t Miss These Opportunities to Learn About APEX!

We’ll be keeping you up-to-date on APEX happenings through the human resources department newsletter entitled HR Insider. Additionally, please check back to APEX website often for more information, at apex.knoxschools.org.
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