The Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) through the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) has provided the framework which allows GESD#32 to implement Instructionally Focused Accountability and Performance Based Compensation throughout the district. Using this framework, teachers receive a TAP Payout based on their teaching skills and student achievement gains. Teaching skills are determined based on instructional skills, teacher knowledge, and fulfillment of responsibilities. Student achievement is measured based on student achievement growth within one school year. Gadsden Elementary Schools District’s goal is to improve teacher effectiveness as well as student achievement through the consistent and effective implementation of TAP.
Elements of TAP
The TAP System consists of four elements that are intended to help evaluate and improve teaching and learning throughout the district.
1. Multiple Career Paths - Through TAP teachers have the opportunity to grow professionally as a career teacher (classroom teacher), mentor teacher, or master teacher (instructional coach). As educators move from career teachers to mentor or master teachers, their responsibilities increase, and with added responsibilities comes additional support and compensation.
2. Ongoing Applied Professional Growth - Each site has allocated time for individualized professional development with teams of teachers on a weekly basis called Cluster Group Trainings, which are led by Master Teachers to help teachers analyze data, plan instruction, and learn effective research-based instructional practices.
3. Instructionally Focused Accountability - Aside from looking at classroom data, TAP Leadership Teams (principals, master teachers, and mentor teachers) perform classroom observations a minimum of 3 times per school year in order to evaluate the quality of instruction and learning that is taking place in the classroom. Teacher effectiveness is measured using the TAP Instructional Rubric, which is research-based and focused on quality instruction.
- All leadership team members become certified evaluators at the beginning of each school year and work to build inter rater reliability to ensure accuracy and consistency for all teacher evaluations.
4. Performance-Based Compensation - Career Teachers, Mentor Teachers, and Master Teachers have the ability to earn bonuses based on their teaching abilities, achievement gains, and the overall school achievement. This is known at the TAP Payout, which all Appropriately Certified Teachers in the district qualify for.
2019 NIET Founder's Award
Desert View Elementary School was among the five finalist for the 2019 NIET Founder's Award.
(photo credit: NIET)
(photo credit: NIET)