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Teaching Profession

TAP Group To Provide Evaluation Assistance

By Stephen Sawchuk — September 13, 2011 1 min read

The folks that oversee the popular Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) school-reform model are broadening out their work to provide states and districts with technical assistance on teacher evaluation, according to a release yesterday from the Santa Monica, Calif.-based National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

They plan to help educators with implementation and support of the systems, including their design, the management of data systems, and the certification and training of evaluators to ensure inter-rater consistency. (In plain English, that means ensuring that two reviewers are able to watch a teacher and arrive at the same conclusion about his or her performance.)

In addition, NIET will make available to those states and districts it services a web portal that allows educators to access video examples of teachers’ lessons and how they’re scored against the TAP teaching framework, a five-category rubric for measuring teacher skills.

Until now, NIET hasn’t really endorsed the use of single pieces of the TAP model, a complex school improvement program that tightly knits together teacher evaluation, professional development, a career ladder, and performance bonuses.

Over the last decade, though, NIET has collected and analyzed information on teacher evaluation, and refined all of the practices that go along with it, and it’s looking now to share those lessons with states and districts.

The state of Tennessee has already contracted with NIET to train 5,000 evaluators for the teacher-evaluation system it is creating to fulfill the parameters of a state law and its winning Race to the Top bid.

The move also makes NIET, a nonprofit, a player in the teacher-evaluation technical assistance arena. As I wrote about not long ago, a number of other publishing houses, professional-development shops, and evaluation firms have also started to provide these services.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.