What is TAP?

TAPTM: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement  (TAP) is a comprehensive school-reform that provides powerful opportunities for career advancement, professional growth, performance evaluation, and competitive compensation. Through the use of four inter-related key elements, teachers are improving their instruction and the achievement of their students.  The four elements are:

  • Multiple career paths for educators as career, mentor and master teachers;

  • Instructionally focused accountability through multiple classroom observations and evaluations utilizing a research-based instrument and rubric that identified effective teaching practices;

  • Ongoing, applied professional growth through weekly cluster meetings, follow-up support in the classroom, and coaching; and

  • Performance-based compensation based on multiple measures of performance including student achievement gains and teachers' instructional practices.

TAP helps teachers become the best they can be by giving them opportunities to learn more effective teaching strategies while holding them accountable for their performance. The TAP System addresses the most important element in a school – human capital – and it does so by working with educators to systematically increase their skills and thereby increase student achievement.

Becoming a TAP School in Louisiana

Three levels of participation are available in the Louisiana TAP initiative: 

  • Pre-TAP SchoolsSchools interested in learning more about TAP in order to make an informed decision relative to TAP implementation are invited to participate in the Pre-TAP Schools network, a year-long exploration of TAP. Structured Pre-TAP activities include an orientation, visits to TAP schools, and presentations to faculties.
  • Year One TAP SchoolsSchools that are ready to begin implementation of TAP will enter Louisiana TAP as a Year One TAP school, which requires full implementation of all of the critical elements of TAP with the exception of performance-based compensation.
  • Year Two and Beyond Schools: Following the first year of TAP, continuing TAP schools enter into full implementation of all four critical elements of TAP.

Applications for all levels of participation are accepted on an annual basis. To access the TAP School Applications, visit our TAP library. 

TAP’s Ongoing Professional Development

The professional development provided through TAP is dramatically different from traditional professional development that has been common in schools. Training opportunities for TAP Master and Mentor Teachers are offered through Building TAP Knowledge, Skills, and Understanding Workshops. TAP Principals and Assistant Principals are also provided with state-level training though the TAP Principal Networking and Support Meetings.  For additional information about TAP Training Opportunities, click here. Registration for all state level training opportunities for TAP and Pre-TAP schools is done using Coursewhere.

Resources to Support TAP Implementation

A variety of resources to support the implementation of TAP are available.  One resource is the TAP/TIF Communication Toolkit.  The Toolkit is designed to provide stakeholders with a deeper understanding of TAP and its positive impact on schools in Louisiana and to effectively communicate with and garner support from local stakeholders as a means to effectively implement and sustain the TAP System. The Communication Toolkit is divided into the following four sections:

Building an Understanding of the TAP System

This section of the toolkit provides a broad overview of the TAP System in Louisiana and strategies for effectively communicating about TAP to stakeholders.  Resources in this section include:

Recruiting, Selecting and Hiring TAP Leadership

Understanding the importance of actively and strategically recruiting quality TAP educators—principals, master teachers, and mentor teachers – as well as key aspects/considerations of the selection and hiring process is critical to the successful implementation of the TAP System.  Click here to access the resources contained in this section of the toolkit.

Funding and Sustaining the TAP System

This section of the Toolkit is designed to guide schools and districts relative to sound fiscal planning to implement, grow, and sustain the TAP System.  Click here to access the resources contained in this section of the toolkit.

Celebrating your TAP Success

This section is designed to assist schools and districts in exploring ways to effectively communicate the positive impact of the TAP System on increasing student achievement and educator effectiveness.

What is TIF?

The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) is a United States Department of Education grant that supports efforts to develop and implement performance –based and principal compensation systems in high-need schools. TIF’s goals include:

  • Increasing the percentage of effective educators in LEA partner schools;
  • Building the capacity of the partner LEAs to implement and sustain a performance-based compensation system for teachers and principals; and
  • Increasing student achievement in the partner LEAs.

In 2010, the Louisiana Department of Education became one of sixty-two state departments of education, school districts, and nonprofit organizations from across the country that received a TIF grant award.  As part of Louisiana’s TIF grant, TAP is being implemented in eight partner districts (Ascension, DeSoto, East Feliciana, Jefferson, Pointe Coupee, St. Mary, Tangipahoa, and West Baton Rouge).  Over the course of the 5-year TIF grant, Louisiana will implement TAP in 59 high-need schools.

Visit the TAP Library to explore a variety of TAP’s resources.