More than Measurement: The TAP System???s Lessons Learned for Designing Better Teacher Evaluation Systems
Over the past decade, Lowell Milken’s Teacher Advancement Program (TAP)—designed to boost teacher effectiveness through accountability, performance pay, and professional development—has ballooned in popularity: It currently serves 10,000 teachers affecting 100,000 students, and rising. With this report, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, or NIET (the program’s administrator), offers ten lessons for policymakers and practitioners seeking to revamp their teacher evaluation system. Interestingly, while use of a value-added metric (VAM) is central in the TAP evaluation, it receives lower billing in this report. The majority of the lessons focus on professional development and staff buy-in: “Provide teachers with targeted follow up” and “Attend to the ‘human side’ of evaluation” being two examples. Perhaps the most important lesson pulled from the somewhat self-aggrandizing evaluation, though, is the need for an “evidence-based evaluation rubric balancing breadth and depth.” On this score, NIET highlights TAP’s nineteen-point rubric, and promotes its five-point scale of evaluation (which avoids floor and ceiling effects, while providing near all teachers with a trajectory for improvement). All in all, if you want to get beyond the rhetorical battles around teacher evaluation and into the weeds, this is a great place to start.
Craig D. Jerald and Kristan Van Hook, “More than Measurement: The TAP System’s Lessons Learned for Designing Better Teacher Evaluation Systems,” (Santa Monica, CA: National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, January 2011).
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