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Group Commissioned to Examine Chicago TAP Results

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, which oversees the popular Teacher Advancement Program school-reform model, is commissioning its own study to figure out why its Chicago site had disappointing results, compared to some of its other sites, according to this release.

Interactive, Inc., an Ashland, Va.-based education program evaluator, will try to determine which variables in Chicago might have led to the results, the NIET group said.

The study is being hailed by some in the field as the death knell for performance pay, but that's probably a bit premature for a couple of reasons. As I noted in my story, TAP has lots of other pieces aside from bonus pay, including job-embedded professional development and a career ladder and added responsibilities for "master" and "mentor" teachers.

And unlike other TAP sites, Chicago only implemented grade and subject-level pay, rather than differentiation based on individual classroom performance, with which more districts are now beginning to experiment.

Those factors may—or may not—have affected matters here. I, for one, hope Interactive provides some additional insights into this most complicated of reform areas.

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