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Federal Funding Opportunities

"In the education business, talent matters tremendously, so whatever we can do to support great teaching, recognize it, reward it, grow it—that's the most important thing we can do."

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement is an innovative educator effectiveness model that increases the number of talented and effective professionals in schools.

By focusing on attracting, retaining, developing and motivating outstanding teachers and principals—particularly in high-need schools—TAP creates a system for recruiting and retaining talent, as well as generating talent through its extensive professional evaluation, development and support.

The TAP system includes four key elements: multiple career paths, ongoing applied professional growth, instructionally focused accountability and performance-based compensation. The strength of the TAP system is its completeness. Rather than using one tool to improve teacher quality, TAP uses acomprehensive system.

In a report released by the Center for American Progress, leading education researcher Craig Jerald cites TAP as a comprehensive system that successfully aligns teacher compensation with other teacher effectiveness strategies. "Aligned by Design: How Teacher Compensation Reform Can Support and Reinforce Other Educational Reforms" urges policymakers to think more broadly about how compensation reform can work together with professional development and teacher evaluations to increase teacher effectiveness and raise student achievement.

During a major education speech in March 2009, President Barack Obama cited TAP while calling for teacher effectiveness policies to recruit, prepare and reward outstanding teachers as part of his administration's plan to reinvigorate the American public education system:

"That's why we're taking steps to prepare teachers for their difficult responsibilities and encourage them to stay in the profession. It's why we're building on the promising work being done in places like South Carolina's Teacher Advancement Program, and making an unprecedented commitment to ensure that anyone entrusted with educating our children is doing the job as well as it can be done.

"Now, here's what that commitment means: It means treating teachers like the professionals they are while also holding them more accountable. New teachers will be mentored by experienced ones. Good teachers will be rewarded with more money for improved student achievement, and asked to accept more responsibilities for lifting up their schools. Teachers throughout a school will benefit from guidance and support to help them improve."

Competitive Grants

To facilitate this push for excellence, there are a number of competitive grant opportunities including the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) and Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) to help states and districts fund innovative models. 

Clearly, finding ways to identify and support effective teaching is at the center of these reform efforts. TAP can be a powerful element of a state or district's comprehensive plan for innovation in this area. Below you will find links to summaries of three key federal grant programs and an explanation of how TAP supports a state or district application in each of these grants, as well as links to other resources. 

Formula Funding

In addition to competitive grant opportunities, existing federal formula funding can also support TAP. The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching works with participating schools to better utilize these funds to implement reforms to improve educator effectiveness.

The list below provides examples of existing federal funds that have been used to support TAP implementation.

  • Title I
  • Title II
  • School Improvement Grants (SIG)

Please contact us for more information.