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Knowledge From the Field

An Evaluation of the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) in Chicago: Year One Impact Report

Published: May 2009

Publisher(s): Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Author(s): Glazerman, Steven; Nancy Carey; Allison McKie

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

View Report (71 pages; 908KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Teacher Quality


The Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) was developed in the late 1990s to improve schools by raising teacher quality. Under the TAP model, teachers can earn extra pay and responsibilities and annual performance bonuses based on a combination of their value added to student achievement and observed performance in the classroom. The idea behind the program is that performance incentives combined with tools for teachers to track performance and improve instruction should attract and retain talented teachers and help all teachers produce greater student achievement. This report provides evidence on the impacts of TAP during the first year of its implementation in Chicago public schools.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+ TAP schools retained teachers at a higher rate than matched comparison schools.

= Chicago TAP significantly affected teaching support received and compensation expectations in TAP schools.

= Teachers in TAP schools reported spending significantly more scheduled time receiving mentoring support than teachers in similar non-TAP schools.

- As of the first year of implementation, these changes did not produce measurable impacts on students (student achievement growth as measured by average math and reading ISAT scores did not differ significantly between TAP and non-TAP schools).

- Teachers in TAP schools did not report significantly higher satisfaction or more positive attitudes toward their principals than did control teachers.

Geographic Focus: Chicago, IL

Subjects/Keywords: Teacher quality; educational standards; student achievement; performance-based incentive; teacher retention

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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