The following FAQs were provided during the administration of the survey.

What is “TELL Texas”?
TELL Texas is an anonymous statewide survey of all school-based teachers, administrators, counselors, and other professional employees to assess teaching conditions at the school and district level. 

The state’s education leaders want to ensure that every educator has the supportive environment necessary to help students achieve at the highest levels! 
 
What is the purpose of the 2014 TELL Texas Survey?
The 2014 TELL Texas Survey is a statewide opportunity for all school-based teachers, administrator, counselors, and other professional employees to provide input on teaching conditions such as:
  • Time during the day for collaborative instructional planning 
  • School and teacher leadership 
  • Facilities and resources 
  • Professional development 
  • And other supports needed for educators to do their jobs well. 
The main intent is to provide additional data for school and district improvement. The survey is required by House Bill 2012 (83rd Legislative Session).
 
Can you tell me about the basics of the survey?
  • TELL Texas is an anonymous, online survey of all school-based teachers, administrators, counselors, and other professional employees in the state.
  • The survey will be live from April 7-May 31, 2014.
  • ***Access codes will arrive by USPS the week of March 31 addressed to the principals.***
  • Educators can access the survey via any Internet location, using an individual, anonymous access code.
  • Anyone can view the response rate at any school during the survey window to make sure every school reaches the minimum response rate needed for data (50%).
  • Results will be available on line for schools reaching the 50% minimum response rate and minimum of 5 educators about 5 weeks after the survey closes. 

How can I take the survey?
Once you receive your anonymous access code, visit www.telltexas.org

  • 24 hours/day
  • Use any Internet location
  • View the survey questions
  • Read about the research
  • Take the survey!

How long does it take to complete the survey?
TELL Texas takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. You must complete it in one session and be sure to click “submit” when you are finished.

How will educators receive their anonymous access codes?
The principal in each school will receive a packet of letters the week of March 31st.There will be a bright sticker on the envelope for each school.  Packages are delivered via USPS.

How will educators receive their anonymous access codes?
In each packet, there will be a Letter of Instruction. The principal in each school is asked to:

  • Set up a faculty meeting to take place between April 7th and May 1st.
  • Share key talking points about the TELL Texas Survey.
  • Disseminate the letters randomly. Educators can switch their letters once received with other licensed educators based in their same school.
  • Meet personally with anyone not in attendance to explain the process.

What if I misplaced or never received my anonymous access code?

  • Click on the "Need Help?" button on the home page once the survey is open.
  • Help Desk phone: 1-800-310-2964 (7:30 AM-4:30 PM Mon. – Fri. during the survey window) 
  • Help Desk email: helpdesk@telltexas.org

What happens if a school did not receive access codes?
If your entire school did not receive access codes, the administrator should contact the Help Desk.

What should we do if the website has the incorrect number of people for my school?
All requests for headcount changes must be submitted via website by the school principal (or designee).
Click on the “Need Help?” button once the survey is launched, then the click the ‘headcount’ link.
Include the name of the school and district as well as the corrected headcount.
It may take as long as 48 hours for the change to be reflected on the website.

How will I know my responses were submitted successfully?
When your responses arrive safely in our database you will receive a "Thanks! Your survey is completed”

Who can participate in the survey? 
All school-based teachers, principals, counselors, and other professional school-based employees in the state.
Itinerant teachers should complete a survey for their home-based school but may also complete a survey for any other school in which they work.
Licensed school-based part-time teachers can participate.

Do administrators and teachers receive separate codes?
No.  They will use the same website to access the survey using one of the anonymous access codes on the letter.  
At the very beginning of the survey the participant will be asked to select his/her school position.  
When the principal selects “Principal” he/she will then receive many of the same questions as teachers, but will receive an additional bank of questions that has been specifically designed for administrators.  

What are access codes and are they really random? 
They are randomly generated codes, that provide confidentiality for the educators, created by the New Teacher Center, and associated to school buildings so that schools can use the results from their own respondents.

  • Codes are NOT linked to any individual.  
  • It is impossible to trace to an individual before, during, or after the survey is completed.
  • It does not matter which educator uses a particular code within a school building. 
  • Each code can only be used once.

Can you ensure that this is anonymous?
We are confident the survey is anonymous because:

  • The survey is about the school environment - not about any one person or individual. 
  • There are NO questions asked that refer to an individual educator or administrator; rather, questions refer to “leadership” at the school.
  • There are no questions on the survey that specifically ask about subject areas or grade levels. 
  • When the letters with the unique, anonymous access codes are distributed in the school, educators are encouraged to switch letters, thereby demonstrating the codes are anonymous. 
  • When the school reports are released (for all schools with a minimum of 5 educators and 50% responding) there is nothing to indicate any type of teacher or any one administrator in a school or district.
  • There are two demographic questions on the survey (years of experience and position) used for routing. The answers to these questions are only reported at the state level, and not at the district or school level.  
  • There is no way that any connection between a teacher or principal at a certain school  and a  certain response can be made.
What if I’m the only new teacher? How will my response really be anonymous? 
There is a minimum sample size of at least 5 educators and 50% responding for any school level report; So, unless there are at least 5 teachers within their first three years of teaching, no data will appear on the school report for the “New Teacher Section,” if the school reached the 50% response rate. 
 
Additionally, individuals can feel even more secure about their anonymity being protected because:
  • It is not possible to view data by role, years of experience, or any other demographic information at the school or district level.
  • Demographic data will only be reported at the state level.
When will the results be ready and how can they be viewed? 
All data will be available on this website approximately 5 weeks after the close of the survey window.
Results show answers to every question by school* and district.
Results can be downloaded in Excel format.
There will be Guides posted on this website for districts and schools on how to use the data for improvement planning.
 
*Results for schools reaching the minimum, 50% threshold for response and having a minimum of 5 educators.

Who is administering this survey?
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has contracted with the New Teacher Center (NTC) to administer the state’s survey.  NTC is a national organization dedicated to supporting the development of a high-quality teaching force. NTC has conducted similar surveys in other states and provides induction and professional development for teachers and principals across the country.  

Since 2008, the NTC has collected more than one million surveys in 20 states, providing critical information to the faculty in more than 26,000 schools about issues such as planning time, facilities and resources, professional development, school and teacher leadership, and other aspects of the school environment that can influence teacher effectiveness. Learn more at: http://www.newteachercenter.org/tlcsurvey/index.php
 
Why are teaching conditions important?
Research has shown that the quality of teaching conditions can encourage or constrain good teaching and have a powerful influence on student achievement.
Understanding and improving teaching conditions can result in:
  • Increased student success
  • Improved teacher efficacy and motivation
  • Enhanced teacher retention
  • Recruitment strategies targeted to bring educators to hard-to-staff schools
The work is research-driven and is now part of national education reform initiatives.
 
Why is it important to complete the TELL Texas Survey?
  • A growing body of research shows the importance of positive teaching conditions to student learning and teacher retention.
  • Education leaders want to hear from every teacher and administrator in order to make the best decisions about facilities and resources, professional development, time for collaboration, and ways for improving instruction.  TELL Texas will provide that data and much more.  
  • YOUR voice will help inform the decisions that are made not only at your school, but also in your district. 

Why did Austin ISD have a high response rate when the survey opened?

Austin ISD has partnered with NTC since 2010 to include the core TELL Survey items in their district survey. This year, AISD administered the core TELL items as part of the district survey in January 2014, prior to TEA awarding NTC the TELL Texas Survey contract. AISD district and campus data will be presented with the release of the TELL Texas Survey data on this website.