Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by
the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology (CELT)

How to Use TOR Definition

Definition Template:

A Teacher of Record is an "educator" who is responsible for a "specified proportion" of a student's "learning activities" that are within a "subject/course" and are aligned to "performance measures".
Step 1: Discuss the purposes for which the TSDL and TOR definition will be used, adding to or modifying the list of purposes. Consider establishing a separate definition to cover education professionals who have not been assigned the primary responsibility for a specified subject/course but who support and contribute to the learning of a student or group of students.
Step 2: Discuss the characteristics of the TOR definition, adding to or modifying this list.
Step 3: Discuss the descriptions and questions provided for each word in quotation marks in the above TOR template for a definition (see discussion questions points in TOR Framework). Select the words or phrases that you will use and create a TOR definition tailored to its purpose(s) for the teacher-student data link (TSDL).
Step 4:

Review the data model that supports the TOR framework. Consider the data elements required to support the TOR definition and whether these can be gathered in a cost-effective manner. Reconsider the TOR definition if data are not available to support it.

Purposes: The TSDL and TOR definition can be used for multiple purposes including to:
1. Support fund/resource allocation formulas.
2. Allow the identification of the primary teacher(s) assigned responsibility for a subject/course and track their contribution(s) to student achievement.
3. Identify other educators, such as reading specialists, who contribute to a student's learning and track their contribution to the student's achievement.
4. Plan and evaluate professional development tailored to student outcomes and specific academic standards, objectives, and pedagogy.
5. Have appropriate student outcome data within educator evaluation systems.
6. Examine teacher prep programs across colleges, universities, and other program providers using student outcome data.
7. Better evaluate instructional practices and programs and determine their effectiveness in increasing student achievement.
8. Support accountability models including ones based on longitudinal data that can link contributions to student outcomes to multiple teachers, programs, and schools over time.
9. Support pay-for-performance programs.

Identify highly effective teachers who can serve as role models and coaches in collaborative support of other educators.

The Teacher of Record definition should:
1. Be flexible to cover all grade levels, pre-K through 12.
2. Accommodate teacher assignment changes and turnover during the course of the semester or year.
3. Be supportable by current systems and data collection methods.
4. Be clear and understandable for all stakeholders.
5. Apply to all teachers and cover all courses and subjects, including virtual (online) courses.

Accommodate co- or team teachers for a given subject/course.

Sample Definitions:

A Teacher of Record is an educator (or educators in co-teaching assignments) who has been assigned the lead responsibility for a student's learning in a subject/course with aligned performance measures.

A Contributing Professional is an individual who has been assigned the responsibility to provide additional services that support and increase a student's learning.

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