RSS Email

TAP – Changing the Way Schools Are Run

With three children to educate we spend a lot of time trying to keep up with the latest information about our community’s education system. A friend who teaches in our local school system mentioned an interesting new initiative which teachers are finding to be helpful in building their teaching skills and maximizing available resources.

This program, called the “Systemfor Teacher and Student Advancement” (TAP) utilizes a number of different strategies to attract talented teachers to the profession and retain them in the schools. The system was initiated by education philanthropist Lowell Milken and is managed today by a recognized teacher support organization, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET).

TAP was developed following extensive research into proven methods of teacher in-service training. The goals of the program include identifying new teaching methods, finding opportunities for professional growth, encouraging peer mentoring and implementing strategies for improving teaching skills.

Schools which incorporate TAP integrate the program’s key elements which include restructuring the school day to allow teachers to collaborate on curriculum planning, introducing new methods of instructions, introducing strategies for peer support and allowing teachers to pursue career advancements even while they remain in the classroom.

One of the components of TAP that I appreciate is that it’s based on sound empirical evaluation, not only theories. TAP schools use an assessment tool, the TAP Teaching Skills, Knowledge and Responsibility Standards, to ascertain students’ academic growth in schools which use the TAP method. Teachers are compensated according to their students’ academic achievements and growth. Teacher receive additional compensation if they accept added roles and responsibilities in the school.

This month the NIET is holding it 12th conference for policymakers, educators, representatives of foundations, businesspeople and community members who are bringing TAP to more schools. I look forward to its continued success in expanding the educational opportunities of our children.

I Disclose