What's on TAP
    
October 25, 2012
TAP Powers Fastest-Improving District in Louisiana
Superintendent Lee Credits TAP in Most-Improved-District Recognition
DeSoto Parish Schools Superintendent Walter Lee credits TAP with lifting the district to most-improved in the state. "I couldn't be more pleased," Lee told the Shreveport Times. "We made better progress sooner than I thought we could, but that goes to show how much DeSoto benefits from a program like TAP." The district moved from a "D" to a bona fide "B" ranking. The Times notes that every school in the district saw increases in student achievement, and North DeSoto High School jumped 24 points in its School Performance Score to a 127.8 out of 200 – marking the first "A" school in the district's history. The full article is available to subscribers.
Career-Ladder Program Centers on Teaching Rubric, Targeted Support
How did North DeSoto Middle School get its scores to climb after hitting a plateau? Education Week Teacher Associate Editor Liana Heitin went inside the classrooms to find out. There, teachers have made incorporating the TAP rubrics into their daily lessons a way of life. "It becomes a part of who you are and what you do naturally," TAP Master Teacher Vicki Cabra told Heitin. The article describes how TAP master teachers provide support to the faculty by selecting strategies "meticulously" based on the needs of the TAP cluster sessions, and then field-testing those strategies with students before presenting them to the larger cluster group. "The intended result," Heitin explains, "is a sort of trickle-down, real-time instructional effect: Master teachers target and fill in instructional gaps for teachers, who then head back to class and fill in knowledge gaps for students." TAP Career Teacher Brandi Rivers, who is new to the TAP system, added, "I feel like I have grown more this year than all my other years of teaching." The full article is available to subscribers.
Erik Hanushek, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
"The evaluation of TAP schools clearly shows that teachers in the program are significantly better than the average teacher in regular public schools. More TAP teachers are above average in terms of student achievement gains. Fewer are far below. This finding is very notable given the importance of teachers to student achievement."