Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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A Division of the Arkansas Department of Education

Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS)


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About TESS

The Arkansas Teacher Excellence and Support System 

  • Provides a statewide system for observation & support of K-12 classroom and specialty teachers.
  • Is being implemented with more flexibility than previously existed because of Arkansas Act 295 of 2017 (Effective August 2017).
  • Meets the requirements of the Arkansas Every Student Succeeds Act (Effective January 2018) through a system to collect documentation created to ensure that low-income and ineffective educators do not teach minority students at disproportionate rates.
The Arkansas TESS Rubric is based on Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching and provides a shared vocabulary and understanding of high-impact instructional practices which provide learning and growth possibilities for every Arkansas student.
Our classroom and specialty educators strive to promote learning and growth for the students and themselves.  Evidence of this work may be seen 
  • By multiple measures of student growth on local assessments and statewide tests.
  • In consistent planning and preparing to meet the unique needs of each learner.
  • Through a welcoming, caring culture & climate.
Respecting that those who are closest to students will make the best decisions to help each of them grow by building on his/her strengths, TESS grants flexibility in local policy and practice; however, TESS does have non-negotiables in place:
  • ‘TESS Teacher’ includes those licensed or non-licensed and working in schools of innovation, charter schools or Act 1240 schools.
  •  TESS evidence includes direct observation, indirect observations artifacts and data from both the observer and the teacher.
  • Reported data is the overall annual performance ratings for Career Summative teachers. (Teachers who have at least three (3) complete years in education, and are placed in a cycle of one (1) year of rating every component in the TESS rubric and three (3) years of self-empowered learning based on a Professional Growth Plan.)
  • EdReflect, powered by Bloomboard, is the online system used by Arkansas educators to collect information and artifacts of professional practice. EdReflect also provides tools for documentation of the implementation of the Science of Reading, and creates reports to guide planning and practice. EdReflect has proven to be a valuable tool in the service of student learning.

TESS End of Year 2019-2020



Reporting TESS Career Summative End of Year Ratings is required.                                
Reporting LEADS Career Summative End of Year Ratings is required [Not for the 2019-2020 school year as LEADS is in transition to LEADS 2.0].
TESS Career Summative Ratings are reported in the SIS School Cycle 7 Report [submission: June 15, 2020].
Bloomboard will pull your End of Year ratings during the summer.
Schools report ONLY Career Summative End of Year Ratings on SIS Cycle 7.
Schools report ALL ratings.
Ratings reports created in EdReflect to inform local instructional planning and implementation.
End of Year paper reports should be sent to the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

TESS TALK Tuesday - EdReflect End-of-Year Zoom Support

  1. Join Zoom Meeting:
  2. Meeting ID: 571 395 6365
  3. Find your local phone number:


Tuesday, February 18, 2020
10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 
10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 3, 2020   
10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

End of Year Information & Assistance

Active Assistance Resources

Tracking TESS Talk Tuesday 2019-2020



Arkansas’ online site for educator observation and performance data is BloomBoard’s observation tool, EdReflect. 

EdReflect supports the growth of Arkansas Educators by providing a calendar for collaboration and observation; a schedule tool for meetings, observations, artifacts; an email notification system; chat features; a system to label evidence according to rubric components; a collection system for quick reference of evidence and ratings sustained each year; the ability to word process with text edit features; provided work status and reminders; video observation system; and end of year rating calculators.

Arkansas schools make use of EdReflect premium features such as Insight reports to guide the work of administrators supporting classroom & specialty educators.

EdReflect is flexible and supportive of the requirements for each instructional implementation design in Arkansas schools.  Continued use of EdReflect provides a user-friendly, adjustable system for targeting and building on student-focused learning, the target the work of all Arkansas educators.

For more information, please contact:

Becky Gibson, Educator Support & Development Advisor
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 401B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Office Phone:  501-683-3160

State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

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Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

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