Resources

Publications

The following is a list of selected publications available as downloadable PDFs from the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

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Tap Brochures

TAP News Fall 2016

November 4, 2016

TAP Tennessee Brochure

November 10, 2015

Tennessee Brief

November 9, 2015

Etowah Brochure

November 9, 2015

Dodson Brochure

November 9, 2015

Coalfield Brochure

November 9, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about how Tennessee is using TAP to support more effective classroom instruction.

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General Information

What is TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement?

The most important work we do is to provide great classroom instruction.  In order to deliver on that promise, we are using a structure called the TAP System to support more effective teaching.  TAP helps us to build higher levels of instructional expertise within each school, and train teacher leaders to play critical roles in providing school-based professional development and more rigorous and informative teacher evaluations.  Evaluations include classroom observations and student growth measures and are designed to support improvements in practice.  The result has been a significant and sustained increase in the effectiveness of classroom instruction, and student learning growth that exceeds expectations. Teachers are thriving and students are succeeding.

Why are these five Tennessee school districts partnering with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching to implement a federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant?

The federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) supports districts and schools attract, retain, support and develop effective teachers and leaders.  Educators want what anyone wants in their job – opportunities for professional growth, the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues, recognition for excellent work and the opportunity to earn additional compensation for that work, leadership opportunities.  In order to provide the best possible educational experience for each student, we must set a very high bar for teaching excellence.  TAP enables us to do that in every classroom.

What are the goals of the TIF grant?

Ultimately our success is measured by increases in student achievement.  To support our students in making greater than expected academic growth each year, we are increasing the effectiveness of our teaching staff across the board, and the effectiveness of our principals.

Do teachers and principals support the implementation of TAP?  How are they involved in shaping the initiative?

It is essential that educators take the lead in designing and implementing systems to support great teaching.  TAP’s success is built on a foundation of involvement and support from the teachers and principals who will be implementing the reform. We required a faculty vote at each school site with a passing threshold of 70% in favor of TAP prior to implementation. This vote demonstrated faculty support for the TAP System.  The district held school faculty votes following presentations at each school site to answer questions about implementation, solicit feedback from staff, and build support before the vote. In addition to principals and teachers, the superintendent, board members and community leaders have expressed strong support for the implementation of TAP in the district.

How does TAP implementation provide sustainable improvement to the challenges that schools face?

Our most important work is great classroom instruction.  TAP is designed to support our efforts to provide every student, every day with outstanding classroom instruction.  To do this, teachers are supported as individuals and we are working as teams and across the faculty to raise the level of teaching and learning.  We are challenging ourselves to excel every day, and we are creating the structures for support through TAP to ensure that teachers are supported in this work.
Rather than rely on outside experts offering one day workshops, our schools recruit or develop their own experts who structure professional development around: 1) the needs of their students as identified through classroom assessments; 2) the needs of teachers as identified through classroom observations and student work; and 3) the needs of principals as identified through needs of teachers and students.  Data from students in the school building are analyzed regularly to ensure that the professional development remains focused on improving student outcomes.  Educators work in teams and are supported by leaders in setting academic goals and working to reach them as a team.