Performance-based compensation is just one element of TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement's model to support effective teaching. TAP™ also incorporates multiple career paths, ongoing professional development, and instructionally focused accountability. The compensation element rewards teaching excellence through bonus pay and increases the salaries of mentor and master teachers in exchange for heightened job responsibilities.
Unlike merit systems of the past, compensation is not awarded through random, isolated evaluations or end-of-year test scores. Teachers are held accountable to the Teaching Skills, Knowledge and Responsibilities Performance Standards and evaluated four to six times per year by certified TAP evaluators using a five-point rubric. Pre- and post-conference meetings accompany evaluations to discuss the process and findings. Through constant communication, ongoing support, and repeated evaluation, educators are able to improve their teaching techniques to advance student learning.
In addition to the classroom evaluations, teachers also are evaluated based on the amount of student learning growth achieved both within his/her classroom and the entire school. This comprehensive evaluation structure provides multiple ways for teachers to advance professionally and be compensated accordingly. Compensation commensurate with teaching prowess helps retain expert teachers, attract new teaching talent, and develop career teachers all to help achieve TAP's ultimate goal — increasing academic achievement among all students.