Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) Effectiveness

On Monday, June 12 the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran Will more teachers accept merit pay? This article talks about how teachers of Waseca, Minn. rejected the test run of TAP in their schools. Reasons they site for their choice are: the teachers didn't like the evaluation process, the added workload, the pay differences and the fact the program negatively effected the team atmosphere and created a more indivdual, competitive one.

I am not trying to say that the TAP program has been unsuccessful, but I would have liked to have heard Solmon address these concerns at the event~What You Missed At the Shanker Institute Forum On Performance Pay


Anonymous John_at_AFT said...

I can't speak for Solmon, but I think programs like this can work -- but only if you have buy-in from the teachers.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Margaret Paynich said...

Well, I'd be interested in Solmon's honesty on the issue. I am not saying that TAP doesn't work, I just wanted him to be honest about those who felt it did not work.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Smithie said...

The TAP program was the worst thing to ever happen to my school. After 2 years, almost all experienced teachers left, including half of the TAP Leadership team. The program is designed for elementary programming. It cannot be successful in secondary schools in its current format. I believe there was a similar situation with TAP leadership leaving Whale Branch Middle School after merely one year. Waseca Schools voted to scrap the program before losing all their experienced staff.

In my experience, the TAP program INCREASED teacher attrition due to it's extra demands placed on teachers' classroom time (in many cases, to teach strategies for subject areas other than their own, which they are not certified in) and the highly critical nature of the program. The payout procedure was incredibly devisive and caused morale to hit an all-time low. Teachers became more competitive and less likely to share successful ideas with other teachers (because if those other teachers were successful, they may get more of the shared pot of bonus money).
Additionally, the cost of the program is exorbitant. Off the charts.

I just don't want anyone to think that the TAP program will be the proverbial knight in shining armor. It is closer to being a mirage.

11:40 AM  

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