Research and Reports
TAP Research Summaryby NIET
For over a decade, TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement has pioneered a comprehensive approach to school reform focused on the quality of teaching and the advancement of effective teachers in schools. Researchers at NIET and elsewhere have studied TAP's effectiveness at raising student achievement, improving the quality of instruction and increasing the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support teachers. This document describes some of the most important results that have emerged from the research to date.
Beyond Job-Embedded: Ensuring Good Professional Development Gets Results in Knox County TAP Schoolsby NIET
Recent research has proven that "job-embedded" professional development (PD) can improve instruction and student learning—if there is a sufficient infrastructure in place to support, oversee and reinforce it. In this report, NIET outlines how Knox County Schools in Tennessee is using TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement to ensure that "job-embedded" PD—professional development delivered by site-based teacher leaders during the school day—results in student academic growth. Specifically, NIET describes how TAP incorporates a structure to maximize the impact of collaborative learning teams and instructional coaching—both strategies that recent studies found to be potentially effective. TAP also takes the critical next step to support, oversee and reinforce PD through a range of other mechanisms, including explicit teacher leadership roles, clear but achievable responsibilities for principals, schoolwide instructional leadership teams, and alignment with other human resource strategies.
TAP System Leads to Improved Achievement and Practice in Louisianaby Dale Mann, Ph.D., Trevor Leutscher, Ph.D., R. Martin Reardon, Ph.D.
This third-party study documents how TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement improves student achievement and teacher practices compared to similar schools. Conducted by Interactive, Inc., a national firm specializing in education program evaluation, the two-year study included schools from across Louisiana, including elementary, middle, and high schools in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Louisiana was selected because it has one of the longest standing TAP implementations reaching back to 2001, with nearly 80 schools participating in the 2012-2013 school year. The study’s lead author, Dr. Dale Mann, concluded that “the TAP schools outperform the comparison schools despite the fact that some of the comparison schools had ‘teacher coaches,’ ‘teacher leaders,’ and Professional Learning Communities that resemble TAP’s cluster groups, etc. The multiple, positive outcomes from the TAP System-participating schools makes the point that intensive, comprehensive, and sustained interventions are necessary to transform schooling.”
Preparing Teachers for the Common Core: Aligning Standards for Teaching with Standards for LearningAugust 2013
As states and districts adopt more challenging standards for students outlined in the Common Core State Standards (Common Core), teachers must align classroom instruction to new student learning standards. This paper explores how the TAP Teaching Standards, and the specific instructional practices they describe, enable teachers to more effectively teach to the Common Core. The paper also describes how states and districts can use the TAP Teaching Standards to ensure that teacher evaluation systems are aligned with Common Core requirements.
Increasing Educator Effectiveness: Lessons Learned from Teacher Incentive Fund Sitesby Jonathan Eckert
In Increasing Educator Effectiveness: Lessons Learned from Teacher Incentive Fund Sites, researcher and author Jonathan Eckert finds that approaches spurred by the federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) to change the ways that educators are trained, supported, evaluated and compensated are "good investments" to strengthen teaching and learning. The report comes to these conclusions through the examination of the federal program's impact on teachers, students and policy-at-large at nine different sites in Louisiana, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee. This is a follow-up to Eckert's 2010 report, Performance-Based Compensation: Design and Implementation at Six Teacher Incentive Fund Sites, funded by the Joyce and Gates Foundations.
The Effectiveness of TAP: Research Summary 2012by NIET
For over a decade, TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement has pioneered a comprehensive approach to school reform focused on the quality of teaching and the advancement of effective teachers in schools. This comprehensive system of reform is reaching about 20,000 teachers and 200,000 students across the country in the 2011-2012 school year. Researchers at NIET and elsewhere have studied TAP's effectiveness at raising student achievement, improving the quality of instruction and increasing the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support teachers. This document describes some of the most important results that have emerged from the research to date.
Beyond Job Embedded: Ensuring That Good Professional Development Gets Resultsby National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
Recent research has proven that "job-embedded" professional development (PD) can improve instruction and student learning—if there is a sufficient infrastructure in place to support, oversee and reinforce it. In this report, NIET outlines how it uses TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement to ensure that "job-embedded" PD—professional development delivered by site-based teacher leaders during the school day—results in student academic growth. Specifically, NIET describes how TAP incorporates a structure to maximize the impact of collaborative learning teams and instructional coaching—both strategies that recent studies found to be potentially effective. TAP also takes the critical next step to support, oversee and reinforce PD through a range of other mechanisms, including explicit teacher leadership roles, clear but achievable responsibilities for principals, schoolwide instructional leadership teams, and alignment with other human resource strategies.
Algiers Charter Schools Association (ACSA) Report Demonstrates Significant and Sustained Progress under a Teacher Incentive Fund Grantby Algiers Charter Schools Association
The Algiers charter schools serve some of the highest-need students in New Orleans. In an effort to close significant achievement gaps, the leadership of each school, and of ACSA, made improving classroom instruction their top priority. A federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant enabled them to use the nationally proven TAP system to build instructional excellence in their schools. Now in the fifth and final year of TIF, schools in ACSA have closed the achievement gap and, in fact, their students now exceed state proficiency levels in English/Language Arts and math. ACSA schools have also increased their graduation rates to 94 percent. In addition, in the 2010-11 school year, 70 percent of ACSA special needs students graduated high school compared to a statewide graduation rate of only 40 percent. This is the kind of transformational change made possible by the Teacher Incentive Fund. The Report discusses Algiers schools' successes and challenges over the course of the grant and profiles each of the schools.
Algiers Charter Schools Association (ACSA) Report Demonstrates Significant and Sustained Progress under a Teacher Incentive Fund Grant
More than Measurement: The TAP System's Lessons Learned for Designing Better Teacher Evaluation Systemsby Craig Jerald and Kristan Van Hook
As the longest-standing and most successful effort to radically revamp teacher evaluation using multiple measures including student achievement gains, TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement provides a powerful set of lessons learned. In this paper, researcher and writer Craig Jerald worked with Kristan Van Hook of NIET and TAP practitioners to distill the key elements of TAP's successful teacher evaluation into ten essential recommendations useful to states and districts in redesigning their own systems.
More than Measurement: The TAP System's Lessons Learned for Designing Better Teacher Evaluation Systems
A Teacher Evaluation System That Worksby Glenn Daley and Lydia Kim
The NIET Working Paper A Teacher Evaluation System That Works analyzes evidence from TAP's work in the field that validates the strength of TAP's evaluation system in differentiating effective from ineffective teaching; producing classroom evaluations and value-added student growth evaluations that are correlated with and complementary to each other; providing useful information to enable teachers to improve their practice over time; and contributing to an increase in the retention of effective teachers as compared to ineffective teachers. The Research Brief summarizes the findings.
Performance-Based Compensation: Design and Implementation at Six Teacher Incentive Fund Sitesby Dr. Jonathan Eckert
Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, this paper presents an analysis of six sites that are implementing teacher and principal compensation reforms under the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). Of the six sites studied, four are implementing TAP. Through interviews, focus groups, data analysis and site-based observations, Eckert identified a number of similarities in the design and implementation of these projects. From Eckert's analysis, these common practices contributed to promising results in these six TIF sites and provide insight for states and districts looking to design effective performance-based compensation systems.
The Effects of Performance-Based Teacher Pay on Student Achievementby Sally Hudson
Published by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, this study finds that schools implementing the comprehensive TAP system increase student achievement gains more than similar non-TAP schools. Conducted by Sally Hudson under the guidance of Scott and Donya Bommer Professor in Economics Caroline Hoxby, this paper examines the impact of TAP on student growth in 151 TAP schools in 10 states. Hudson evaluates the effects of TAP on state achievement exam scores in mathematics and reading using synthetic control matching. These student achievement results are particularly relevant as policymakers consider the impact of performance-based compensation reform applied as part of a comprehensive system supporting teacher and principal improvement.
Voices from the Field: Teachers Describe Their Experience With a Bold System of Reformby NIET
Funded by the Joyce Foundation, this paper captures the experiences and perspectives of teachers implementing TAP across the country. While many education observers are familiar with TAP's performance-based compensation element, what is less well-known is the comprehensive and aligned system that enables TAP schools to achieve significant and lasting improvements in teacher effectiveness. Consequently, this report highlights the voices of teachers as they share their perspectives on TAP's other three elements: multiple career paths, ongoing applied professional growth and instructionally focused accountability.
High Impact Philanthropy to Improve Teaching Quality in the U.S.by The Center for High Impact Philanthropy, University of Pennsylvania
This blueprint announces the Center for High Impact Philanthropy's plan to create a philanthropic investment guide that outlines specific ways philanthropists can help improve teacher quality in the United States. The Center for High Impact Philanthropy has identified the poor management of human capital in education as the main problem. In its preliminary conversations with education experts, several examples of ways in which philanthropists can help have already emerged. TAP is cited as a model with promising impact in the area of improving human capital management and allocation. More specifically, TAP is acknowledged for making strides in principal training and development, comprehensive teacher evaluations that are linked to ongoing professional development and distribution of teachers, and human relations department reform.
More Than Widgets: TAP: A Systemic Approach to Increased Teaching Effectivenessby Dr. Jonathan Eckert, Ed.D.
This paper outlines how the TAP system effectively addresses the problems that were identified in The New Teacher Project's 2009 report, The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness. More specifically, The Widget Effect made four recommendations to improve teaching effectiveness: 1) differentiate teachers based on effectiveness; 2) identify and train expert evaluators; 3) integrate evaluation with teacher support; and 4) provide options for ineffective teachers. In this paper, Eckert explains how TAP fulfills each of these recommendations in meaningful, sustainable ways.
Aligned by Design: How Teacher Compensation Reform Can Support and Reinforce Other Educational Reformsby Craig Jerald for the Center for American Progress (CAP)
Written for CAP by leading education researcher Craig Jerald, this report counteracts the failures of existing professional development and evaluation systems by citing TAP as a comprehensive system that reforms teacher compensation, along with other support structures, in an effective and sustainable way. Jerald uses TAP to illustrate the importance of building human capital at the school and district levels. The report notes that performance compensation for master and mentor teachers in TAP schools—the "less famous" aspect of this performance-pay reform—is essential to its ability to not only recognize and reward effective teaching but to also systemically generate improvements in teacher effectiveness.
Aligned by Design: How Teacher Compensation Reform Can Support and Reinforce Other Educational Reforms
TAP Weaves a Tapestry of Achievement
at Algiers Charter Schools
Algiers Charter Schools Association Case Study (New Orleans, LA)
This case study highlights the implementation of TAP in the Algiers Charter Schools Association (ACSA), which was formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to serve a disadvantaged community in New Orleans, Louisiana. This case study explains the history of TAP and the impact it has had on improving teaching skills and student achievement in the Algiers charter schools. After one year of TAP implementation, the six schools with value-added data made at least one year of student achievement gains, and five made more than a year's growth.
Creating a Successful Performance Compensation System for Educatorsby Members of the Working Group on Teacher Quality
This document reflects the findings of the Working Group on Teacher Quality, whose participants share information and build consensus among organizations and experts active on the issue of performance pay and teacher compensation reform.
Roundtable Discussion on Value-Added Analysis of Student Achievement: A Summary of Findingsby the Working Group on Teacher Quality
The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) and fellow members of the Working Group on Teacher Quality held a roundtable discussion with policymakers, researchers and practitioners with expertise in value-added analysis of student achievement. The purpose of the discussion was to create a broader understanding of how value-added analysis of student achievement can be used as an indicator of teacher effectiveness, and the implications this has for policy and practice. This document presents a summary of the roundtable's major themes, findings and lessons learned. This project was funded with support from the Joyce Foundation and coordinated by NIET.
The Effectiveness of the Teacher Advancement Programby Lewis C. Solmon, J. Todd White, Donna Cohen and Debbie Woo
The purpose of this evaluation paper is to analyze the impacts of TAP. The evaluation is multifaceted, first comparing student achievement gains of individual teachers and schools to similar, non-TAP teachers and schools, next comparing adequate yearly progress (AYP) of TAP schools to their states overall, and third, examining the attitudes of TAP teachers to the attitudes of teachers in general. The paper concludes that TAP teachers and TAP schools have demonstrated higher achievement growth than controls, have meaningful AYP results, and positive teacher attitudes.
Nancy Rials, Former Principal, Forest Hill Elementary School, Forest Hill, Louisiana
"With TAP, my teachers are not only working harder, but are also working smarter. TAP has enabled Forest Hill Elementary to make great strides in improving student achievement. We have cultivated an environment that establishes high expectations and celebrates their attainment. This gives us a strong sense of community that continually makes us want to raise the bar!"