The ultimate goal of TAPô is to raise student achievement. The method for getting there is to create incentives and support structures that will maximize teacher effectiveness. To measure whether TAPís objectives are met, we use a variety of methods to evaluate TAP's impact on student achievement, teacher effectiveness, teacher attitudes, and recruitment and retention. Below are results from a variety of studies conducted over the course of TAPís implementation.
TAP Increases Student Achievement
TAP Teachers: According to 2004-2005 data, in every TAP state, TAP teachers outperformed similar non-TAP teachers in producing an average year's growth or more in their students' achievement.
TAP Schools: More TAP schools outperformed similar non-TAP schools in producing an average year's growth or more in both reading and math achievement.
TAP Promotes High Levels of Collegiality
In the 2008 annual survey of TAP teacher attitudes, approximately 70% of teachers in TAP schools reported high levels of collegiality. We believe these results are a natural outgrowth of TAP's ongoing applied professional growth. Whatever concerns teachers have over the shift in culture to performance-based compensation and rigorous accountability are tempered by the cluster groups that naturally facilitate collegiality.
TAP Reduces Teacher Turnover
TAP has been successful in reducing teacher turnover rates, such as in South Carolina schools where turnover rates above 30% per year were reduced to less than 10% per year. What's more, TAP's career opportunities and performance bonuses attract outstanding teachers from higher-income schools to high-need schools, reversing the usual flow of effective teachers from lower to higher achieving schools.
TAP Attracts Talented Teachers to High-Poverty Schools
TAP provides a strong recruitment incentive for encouraging outstanding educators to teach in high-need schools. In some high-need districts, 75% of TAP master and mentor teachers have come from more affluent schools to take these positions. TAP principals consistently report that it is easier for them to recruit quality teachers than it was prior to implementing TAP.
Melissa Treece, Career Teacher, Northwest Middle School, Knoxville, Tennessee
"The TAP structure supported my professional growth by providing weekly opportunities for collaboration with novice teachers and more experienced educators as well as ongoing assessments of grade-level student achievement."