Teacher Advancement...But Not Much More

Today's news is all about the LSC deadline extension but you knew about that already (see previous post) and probably don't care (sorry!), so let's focus instead on the new evaluation of the TAP program in Chicago that just came out and is covered in this EdWeek story. As you may recall, then-CEO Duncan funded the program through TIF, but the implementation (and the grant money) was slow, and the folks who run TAP programs nationally abandoned the Chicago effort after three years. Basically, a hot mess.  "The program can be credited with improved retention outcomes for some of its schools, but it did not have a noticeable positive impact on student achievement over the four-year rollout in Chicago." Anyone out there participate in the effort want to tell us about their experience?


Deadline extension for local school councils Tribune: With too few candidates signed up for local school council elections, Chicago Public Schools has extended the filing deadline two weeks. The district announced Wednesday that it will delay until March 23 the deadline for applicants to declare candidacy,...

Deadline extended to run for local school councils Catalyst:  Faced with a dearth of candidates, CPS has for the second time extended the deadline to register to run in next month’s local school council elections. Candidates now have until March 23rd to file. So far, only 2,060 candidates have been recruited for more than 6,800 open seats in the April 18th elections.

Local school council candidacy deadline extended Sun Times:  So far, more than 2,060 candidates have agreed to run — more than at this point in the last election — but more than 6,800 are needed, district officials said.


School lunch programs in Illinois are part of federal anti-fraud effort Tribune:Illinois will be part of a six-state pilot program next school year aimed at reducing instances of fraud in the nation's free and reduced school lunch program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday.

To outsiders, a South Side march to end violence still emphasizes violence Medill Reports:  The Rev. Michael Pfleger’s anti-violence march on Sunday was intended to tell Auburn-Gresham gang members the neighborhood won’t tolerate more shootings. But it may have told North Side residents a different story.



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  • from the TAP people: "the Chicago program is not representative of the national TAP system model that has been implemented in hundreds in schools from South Carolina to Texas and Louisiana."


    SANTA MONICA, Calif.—The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), developer of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, today released the following statement in response to a report by Mathematica Policy Research on the third and fourth years of an initiative undertaken by Chicago Public Schools to improve teacher effectiveness.

    “While NIET commends Chicago’s efforts to improve teaching and learning, the Chicago program is not representative of the national TAP system model that has been implemented in hundreds in schools from South Carolina to Texas and Louisiana,” said Kristan Van Hook, NIET's senior vice president for public policy. “As a result, Mathematica’s report should not be mistaken as an evaluation in any way of the national TAP system’s proven effectiveness. The report evaluates a program that does not fully incorporate NIET’s national system design and implementation criteria. NIET’s TAP system contains research proven characteristics that must be implemented as part of its comprehensive system. In addition, while NIET remains supportive of CPS’s efforts, NIET was not involved in the project after year three. Given these factors, the report has little relevance to the national TAP system.”

    Chicago’s design and implementation efforts diverged significantly from national TAP guidelines in a number of ways. For example, individual teacher value-added scores were not used to measure performance, and the weight given to various measures of performance were changed each year of the grant. In addition, the study’s teacher survey results confirm NIET’s own findings that TAP’s professional development and evaluation components were not implemented or implemented inconsistently with TAP guidelines in many schools. Turnover in key leadership and staff positions at the district level further hampered progress. Due to these issues and Chicago Public Schools’ decision to make additional changes in their approach going forward, NIET was not involved in the initiative after Year Three. The Mathematica report places little emphasis on these key facts and their role as factors in the outcomes of the project.

    “Evaluation is critical to advancing teacher effectiveness efforts and there are a number of studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of the TAP system model in numerous districts across multiple states,” said Van Hook. “These findings have consistently demonstrated significant improvements in teacher effectiveness and student achievement growth in hundreds of schools. They have also highlighted the challenges of this work. A major part of our strategy has been to promote the use of these findings to advance the national dialogue on this critical issue.

    “As NIET continues its work, we commend those engaged in the many efforts going on nationally to improve teacher effectiveness and stand ready to assist districts, states and policymakers in pursuit of these goals,” Van Hook concluded.

  • "TAP stinks! TAP was a pilot teacher merit pay program that Arne Duncan brought to Chicago. I think one of my wife’s early CPS schools did TAP. A new study says it was never well implemented and didn’t have much impact. (h/t Russo)" via @sethlavin

  • As a former TAP person--the above comment is correct- the waste of money that was spent on this poorly implemented program. NOw, consider that the person who brought it has a federal position that infects this Nation.

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