September 30, 2009
TAP Assistant Principal from Minneapolis Testifies Before House Education and Labor Committee
Latanya Daniels Urges Action to Increase Effective Teachers in High-Need Schools
Given her experience as a career, mentor and master teacher in high-need schools, Daniels provided a unique and valuable perspective. Thomas Edison High School has approximately 88% of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. In the last few years, Edison has received the lowest achieving 9th grade students entering all Minneapolis high schools. While much of the discussion focused on the challenges facing high-need schools, Daniels focused on a solution. According to Daniels, TAP's comprehensive approach to reform provided her school with the tools to increase teacher effectiveness and, consequently, student achievement. Daniels shared that for the 2007-2008 school year, 80% of Thomas Edison's 9th and 10th grade students made one year's growth or more in math—a significant departure from previous years. Further, Daniels explained how TAP helped recruit quality teachers and increase teacher retention. Prior to TAP, her school experienced a 70% teacher turnover rate over a two-year period. Last year, Edison only lost one teacher.
In this timely discussion on attracting and retaining highly effective teachers where we need them most, Daniels also urged the Commission to support comprehensive systems that offer educators opportunities for professional growth and the chance to take on new roles and responsibilities. She emphasized the need for these solutions to be linked to school-based professional support that is driven by student data, and for additional compensation for effective educators who teach in high-need schools. According to Daniels, in order to see continuous improvement at a high-poverty school, systems must be in place to align professional support, accountability and opportunity. TAP offers this solution at Thomas Edison High School.
Watch the hearing video via the House Education and Labor Committee Web site
(To watch Latanya Daniels, slide the blue bar below the picture to 57:05.)
Michael Savage, Principal, Audelia Creek Elementary School, Dallas, Texas
"The TAP Instructional Rubric has more detail than the district Professional Development and Appraisal System. You can hit the spots where the teachers need help because you've got multiple independent observations."