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Research

Below are select reports examining the impact of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching's initiatives on teaching and learning.

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TAP Research Summary: June 2017

NIET   |   June 2017

NIET continually evaluates the impact of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement on raising student achievement, improving instruction and increasing the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support effective teachers. In addition to national results in student achievement and teacher attitudes, the June 2017 report highlights findings from the Minnesota, Iowa and Tennessee TIF-4 sites, the TAP System in Texas, and the higher education partnerships supported by Supporting Educator Effectiveness Development (SEED) grants.

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TAP Research Summary: November 2016

NIET   |   November 2016

Researchers at NIET and elsewhere have studied the effectiveness of TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement in raising student achievement, improving the quality of instruction, and increasing the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support effective teachers. This document summarizes three new studies and several new findings highlighting TAP’s consistently positive impact on schools, teachers, and student achievement.

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Learning on the Job: How Evaluation Systems Can Support Teacher Growth

Gary W. Ritter and Joshua H. Barnett   |   March 2016

Most education decision-makers agree that effective teacher evaluation can cultivate genuine improvements in the teaching force and improved student outcomes. The central issue is how to have effective evaluation. This paper draws upon educators from multiple states to respond to this question. The authors find that feedback from rigorous evaluations can encourage self-reflection and meaningful conversations focused on classroom practice among educators. Moreover, the data suggest that educators are open to such evaluations when certain key conditions are met in schools.

TAP Research Summary Spring 2016

TAP Research Summary: March 2016

March 2016

For over a decade, researchers at NIET and around the country have studied TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. This document summarizes recent internal and external research, including three new studies demonstrating TAP's effectiveness at raising student achievement, improving the quality of instruction and increasing the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support teachers.

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TAP Research Summary: June 2015

June 2015

Researchers at NIET and elsewhere continue to investigate the impact of TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. This document summarizes three new studies and several new findings showcasing TAP’s effectiveness at significantly raising student achievement, improving the quality of instruction and increasing the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support effective teachers.

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Comprehensive Educator Effectiveness Models That Work: Impact of TAP System on Student Achievement in Louisiana

NIET   |   November 2014

Many researchers and policymakers posit improving the quality of the nation's teaching workforce is the best intervention for raising student achievement and providing opportunities to all students. However, interventions that result in consistent improvement for teacher practices and translate into improvements in student achievement are rare. A growing evidence base on the TAP System continues to demonstrate the TAP's power to transform schools. This study examines 66 TAP System schools and, using statistical controls, compares them to the state average as well as a matched comparison group to determine the impact on student achievement. Results indicate the TAP System school students consistently and significantly outperform their matched school peers.

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Staying Power: The Impact of the TAP System on Retaining Teachers Nationwide

NIET   |   October 2014

Each year teacher turnover presents instructional, organizational, and financial burdens that impact students, teachers, schools and communities. High levels of teacher turnover drain valuable resources and make it difficult to build a high-performing, stable teaching faculty. This is particularly true in high-need schools where teacher attrition levels are higher than average. This paper examines the impact of the TAP System on retaining teachers, and ultimately, on retaining effective teachers. Results of the study, which examines over 12,000 teachers across ten states, show that TAP System schools retain approximately 14% more teachers than comparable non-TAP schools. Further, teachers in the TAP System schools significantly increased their effectiveness from one school year to the next. This paper demonstrates the power of the TAP System to retain effective teachers and discusses the associated benefits to retaining more effective teachers.

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TAP Research Summary: March 2014

NIET   |   March 2014

For over a decade, TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement has pioneered a comprehensive approach to school reform focused on the quality of teaching and the advancement of effective teachers in schools. Researchers at NIET and elsewhere have studied TAP's effectiveness at raising student achievement, improving the quality of instruction and increasing the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support teachers. This document describes some of the most important results that have emerged from the research to date.

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Developing Teacher Leadership in Iowa

August 2014

As Iowa districts develop new teacher leadership roles and structures, the Saydel and Central Decatur school districts—which implement TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement—are serving as the state's pioneers. This brochure describes how building the capacity for teacher leadership and meaningful professional development can lead to better teachers and students, and offers other powerful lessons for how teacher leaders can play a central role in instructional improvement.

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TAP High School Symposium: Lessons Learned from Principals and Teachers

NIET   |   July 2014

Since the 1999-2000 school year, TAP(TM): The System for Teacher and Student Advancement (TAP) has been implemented in hundreds of schools across the nation and demonstrated an ability to raise student achievement, improve the quality of instruction and increase the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support effective teachers. The TAP System has been implemented in schools across nearly 20 states in urban, suburban, rural, and tribal districts, as well as at the elementary, middle, junior, and high school levels. Throughout TAP's 15-year history, much information has been learned with regard to the most effective and efficient method to ensure high fidelity implementation. As NIET continues to expand its partnerships with schools, this document specifically examines NIET's lessons learned for implementation procedures at the high school level.

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TAP System Leads to Improved Achievement and Practice in Louisiana

Dale Mann, Ph.D., Trevor Leutscher, Ph.D., R. Martin Reardon, Ph.D.   |   September 2013

This third-party study documents how TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement improves student achievement and teacher practices compared to similar schools.

Conducted by Interactive, Inc., a national firm specializing in education program evaluation, the two-year study included schools from across Louisiana, including elementary, middle,and high schools in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Louisiana was selected because it has one of the longest standing TAP implementations reaching back to 2001, with nearly 80 schools participating in the 2012-2013 school year.

The study's lead author, Dr. Dale Mann, concluded that "the TAP schools outperform the comparison schools despite the fact that some of the comparison schools had 'teacher coaches,' 'teacher leaders,' and Professional Learning Communities that resemble TAP's cluster groups.

"The multiple, positive outcomes from the TAP System-participating schools makes the point that intensive,comprehensive, and sustained interventions are necessary to transform schooling."

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Preparing Teachers for the Common Core: Aligning Standards for Teaching with Standards for Learning

August 19, 2013

As states and districts adopt more challenging standards for students outlined in the Common Core State Standards (Common Core), teachers must align classroom instruction to new student learning standards. This paper explores how the TAP Teaching Standards, and the specific instructional practices they describe, enable teachers to more effectively teach to the Common Core. The paper also describes how states and districts can use the TAP Teaching Standards to ensure that teacher evaluation systems are aligned with Common Core requirements.

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Increasing Educator Effectiveness: Lessons Learned from Teacher Incentive Fund Sites

Jonathan Eckert   |   February 2013

In Increasing Educator Effectiveness: Lessons Learned from Teacher Incentive Fund Sites, researcher and author Jonathan Eckert finds that approaches spurred by the federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) to change the ways that educators are trained, supported, evaluated and compensate dare "good investments" to strengthen teaching and learning.The report comes to these conclusions through the examination of the federal program's impact on teachers,students and policy-at-large at nine different sites in Louisiana, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee. This is a follow-up to Eckert's 2010 report, Performance-Based Compensation: Design and Implementation at Six Teacher Incentive Fund Sites, funded by the Joyce and Gates Foundations.

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The Effectiveness of TAP: Research Summary 2012

NIET   |   April 2012

For over a decade, TAP(TM): The System for Teacher and Student Advancement has pioneered a comprehensive approach to school reform focused on the quality of teaching and the advancement of effective teachers in schools. This comprehensive system of reform is reaching about 20,000 teachers and 200,000 students across the country in the 2011-2012 school year. Researchers at NIET and elsewhere have studied TAP's effectiveness at raising student achievement, improving the quality of instruction and increasing the ability of high-need schools to recruit, retain and support teachers. This document describes some of the most important results that have emerged from the research to date.

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Beyond Job Embedded: Ensuring That Good Professional Development Gets Results

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching   |   March 2012

Recent research has proven that "job-embedded" professional development (PD) can improve instruction and student learning--if there is a sufficient infrastructure in place to support, oversee and reinforce it. In this report, NIET outlines how it uses TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement to ensure that "job-embedded" PD--professional development delivered by site-based teacher leaders during the school day--results in student academic growth. Specifically, NIET describes how TAP incorporates a structure to maximize the impact of collaborative learning teams and instructional coaching--both strategies that recent studies found to be potentially effective. TAP also takes the critical next step to support, oversee and reinforce PD through a range of other mechanisms, including explicit teacher leadership roles, clear but achievable responsibilities for principals, school wide instructional leadership teams, and alignment with other human resource strategies.

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More than Measurement: The TAP System's Lessons Learned for Designing Better Teacher Evaluation Systems

Craig Jerald and Kristan Van Hook   |   January 2011

As the longest-standing and most successful effort to radically revamp teacher evaluation using multiple measures including student achievement gains, TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement provides a powerful set of lessons learned. In this paper, researcher and writer Craig Jerald worked with Kristan Van Hook of NIET and TAP practitioners to distill the key elements of TAP's successful teacher evaluation into ten essential recommendations useful to states and districts in redesigning their own systems.

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A Teacher Evaluation System That Works

Glenn Daley and Lydia Kim   |   August 2010

The NIET Working Paper A Teacher Evaluation System That Works analyzes evidence from TAP's work in the field that validates the strength of TAP's evaluation system in differentiating effective from ineffective teaching;producing classroom evaluations and value-added student growth evaluations that are correlated with and complementary to each other; providing useful information to enable teachers to improve their practice over time; and contributing to an increase in the retention of effective teachers as compared to ineffective teachers. The Research Brief summarizes the findings.

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Performance-Based Compensation: Design and Implementation at Six Teacher Incentive Fund Sites

Dr. Jonathan Eckert   |   August 2010

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, this paper presents an analysis of six sites that are implementing teacher and principal compensation reforms under the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF).Of the six sites studied, four are implementing TAP. Through interviews, focus groups, data analysis and site-based observations, Eckert identified a number of similarities in the design and implementation of these projects. From Eckert's analysis, these common practices contributed to promising results in these six TIF sites and provide insight for states and districts looking to design effective performance-based compensation systems.

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More Than Widgets: TAP: A Systemic Approach to Increased Teaching Effectiveness

Dr. Jonathan Eckert, Ed.D.   |   December 2009

This paper outlines how the TAP system effectively addresses the problems that were identified in The New Teacher Project's 2009 report, The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness. More specifically, The Widget Effect made four recommendations to improve teaching effectiveness:
1) differentiate teachers based on effectiveness;
2) identify and train expert evaluators;
3) integrate evaluation with teacher support; and
4) provide options for ineffective teachers.
In this paper, Eckert explains how TAP fulfills each of these recommendations in meaningful, sustainable ways.

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Aligned by Design: How Teacher Compensation Reform Can Support and Reinforce Other Educational Reforms

Craig Jerald for the Center for American Progress (CAP)   |   July 2009

Written for CAP by leading education researcher Craig Jerald, this report counteracts the failures of existing professional development and evaluation systems by citing TAP as a comprehensive system that reforms teacher compensation, along with other support structures, in an effective and sustainable way. Jerald uses TAP to illustrate the importance of building human capital at the school and district levels. The report notes that performance compensation for master and mentor teachers in TAP schools--the "less famous" aspect of this performance-pay reform--is essential to its ability to not only recognize and reward effective teaching but to also systemically generate improvements in teacher effectiveness.