An experimental evaluation of Chicago schools using the Teacher Advancement Program found that after a year of implementation, teachers in those schools were 5 percentage points more likely to return to their schools than non-TAP teachers. They also reported receiving significantly more mentoring and support than their peers did.
But after six months, student-achievement growth in the TAP schools didn’t differ significantly from that in other schools, concludes the report by Mathematica Policy Research Inc., of Princeton, N.J.
TAP, a school-reform model sponsored by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, uses career ladders, professional development, and performance-based compensation. Chicago adopted it in 2007 with money from the federal Teacher Incentive Fund.
The Mathematica study focused on 16 schools, eight of which began to implement the program in 2007-08 and eight control schools. The researchers also studied 18 additional schools similar in size, teacher experience, and student demographics to the TAP schools, and surveyed teachers and administrators.
A version of this article appeared in the May 13, 2009 edition of Education Week