TAP's Elements Multiple Career Paths Ongoing Applied Professional Growth Instructionally Focused Accountability Performance-Based Compensation Bibliography TAP Outcomes Legislation Understanding Value-Added Teacher Quality Resources The Working Group on Teacher Quality
Multiple Career Paths@if>
Multiple career paths were developed based on a business model in which employees are able to move up the ranks based upon additional roles and responsibilities and be compensated for this work. Compensation is commensurate with these differentiated roles as well as with effectiveness and results. The multiple career paths element is an improvement of the traditional career ladder concept in education where teachers receive a minimal salary supplement for taking on additional roles such as mentoring a colleague. TAP addresses the weaknesses and the strengths of this earlier model and incorporates both education and management research findings into its system for career opportunity.
The research includes the following:
- Barrier (1996) finds a positive relationship between employee motivation and their ability to advance within their career. The consensus in this research is that employees who have opportunities for career advancement are motivated to improve the quality of their work.
- Educational research on career ladder programs suggests career advancement programs must contain both fiscal and work opportunity incentives to appeal to teachers. Career paths should focus on job expansion with opportunities such as long term professional growth, teacher involvement in school decisions, involvement of senior teachers in induction of new teachers and the development of relatively permanent promotions to encourage career planning by teachers (Murphy and Hart, 1986).
- Research indicates that a successful career path program must have the following characteristics (Hawley, 1985):
- The economic rewards for high performance must be significant;
- Teachers should continuously demonstrate high performance in order to retain their advanced level of status and pay;
- The standards by which teachers are measured should be clear;
- Assessment must be viewed by the teachers as being fair;
- Evaluation and feedback should be frequent;
- Differences in compensation should lead to differences in roles and responsibilities; and
- Teachers should be involved in the design and implementation of the plan.
- Work by Elmore (2000) on the concept of distributed leadership advocates that effective leadership is characterized by collective responsibility and sharing of knowledge and roles.
- Research on instructional leadership shows that building collective leadership through consensus of teachers rather than mandate is more effective (Darling-Hammond, Bullmaster & Cobb, 1995).
- A shared vision and shared responsibility for instructional leadership can lead teachers to support the larger organizational good, thus leading to improved curriculum and instruction (Leithwood, Tomlinson, & Genge, 1996; Silins, Mulford, Zarins, & Bishop, 2000).
Rachel Hodgeson, Mentor Teacher, Lowery Intermediate School, Ascension Parish, Louisiana
"Because I teach students on campus just as they do, teachers know I am 'in the trenches' alongside them, and that has earned me a certain respect and has opened classroom doors that might have otherwise been closed . . . We have all grown exponentially through working in a TAP school, and our students reap the benefits daily."