• tap: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement

    What is TAP?

    Education reform pioneer and Milken Family Foundation Chairman Lowell Milken, along with others at the Milken Family Foundation (MFF) — already noted for its national teacher awards — brought together the best available research to develop a comprehensive, systemic school reform model to address the challenges facing K-12 education. They created TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, a bold new strategy to attract, retain, develop and motivate talented people to the teaching profession. Because of its broad-based support, results, and high demand, TAP is now operated by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), a public charity.

    The TAP system is a comprehensive strategy to boost teacher effectiveness through opportunities for career advancement, professional growth, performance evaluation, and competitive compensation. It emphasizes four inter-related components identified as critical elements for success:

    • 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 better teacher strategies and by 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.