TAP Conference Overview@IF>
The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching held its 12th National TAP Conference—Building a System of Teacher Leaders—in Los Angeles, CA, on March 9-10, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. The dynamic working conference joined more than 1,000 practitioners, policymakers and members of diverse districts, states, organizations, foundations and businesses across the country who are integral to building the TAP system of teacher leaders in schools to advance teacher effectiveness and student achievement.
The annual conference is a powerful venue, both for those new to and experienced in TAP, to learn more about TAP in practice and its role on the national pulse of innovative education reform. This year, participants heard from education experts and leaders as to how states and districts can deliver effective education system reform. TAP policymakers and educators discussed the impact of the TAP system on teacher practices and student growth. In a myriad of breakout sessions, new and veteran TAP practitioners spoke about their effective practices and lessons learned in the process.
NIET trainers also led workshops on NIET's innovative online tools, such as the TAP System Training Portal, the CODE data management system for educator evaluation, and the new tapObserver scripting app for the iPad.
"Our ultimate goal," said Dr. Gary Stark, president and CEO of NIET, "is for TAP participants and those exploring TAP to return to their districts reinvigorated with new ideas, skills and knowledge to meet the challenges of the coming year."
Surprise TAP AwardsThroughout the conference, select schools and districts were surprised with recognitions for their dedication and commitment to the TAP system. During his opening Keynote Address, NIET Chairman and TAP Founder Lowell Milken presented the prestigious TAP Founder's Award to Whale Branch Middle School in Beaufort County, South Carolina.
"With TAP as their guide, educators at Whale Branch Middle School have created a collaborative learning environment where faculty and students continually strive to improve," he said.
View the full story, photos and the profile video on the TAP Founder's Award site.
TAP Awards of Distinction were presented to the DeSoto Parish School System (Louisiana), Lancaster Independent School District (Texas), Laurens County School District 56 (South Carolina) and the Lincoln Consolidated School District (Arkansas). View the photo slideshow, profile videos and individual press releases in the TAP newsroom.
TAP School of Promise Awards were presented to Aikin Elementary School (New Caney Independent School District, Texas), Carter Middle School (Knox County Schools, Tennessee), Judkins Middle School (Lucia Mar Unified School District, California) and West Goshen Elementary School (Goshen Community Schools, Indiana). View the photo slideshow and individual press releases in the TAP newsroom.
Additional photos of panels and breakout sessions are posted in the newsroom.
Eye on Professional DevelopmentAs a prelude to the TAP conference, NIET released a report titled Beyond "Job-Embedded": Ensuring That Good Professional Development Gets Results, which outlines how NIET uses the TAP system to ensure that "job-embedded" professional development (PD)—PD delivered by site-based teacher leaders during the school day—results in student academic growth. The report aligns with recent research proving that job-embedded PD can improve instruction and student learning if there is a sufficient infrastructure in place to support, oversee and reinforce it.
ConnectNews from the TAP conference, along with regular updates and developments, will be posted to the TAP site and to Twitter at www.twitter.com/tapsystem.
Jim Rex, Former South Carolina Superintentent of Education
"Through these efforts [implementing TAP], we'll reach the tipping point of moving from a pilot project to a full-blown statewide model of reform. A performance-based compensation system, using value-added measures that are reliable and transparent, will ultimately affect achievement for all students. . ."