Saturday, December 1, 2012

Guest Post: Teacher and Student Advancement

Hi, all!  I've got a guest post to share with you today from a mom named Rachel, who is hoping to share some information about an educational program near to her heart.  Read on and weigh in with any thoughts you might have!
As our children set out on their school years it's up to us, as parents, to monitor their school experience to ensure that they receive the best education possible. We often hear criticism of our educational system -- educators, parents, administrators, commentators and politicians all seem to be able to tell us what's wrong. But what are our options?
One of the newest and most innovative educational programs found in American schools is the "System for Teacher and Student Advancement" program, known as "TAP." This program is the brainchild of the Lowell Milken Family Foundation which is facilitating its integration into participating schools nationwide. The goals of TAP involve increasing educational productivity in educational institutions on all levels. TAP aims to encourage students to reach their potential through the development of knowledge, skills and experiences which can enable them to move into the real world of further study and work.
TAP involves a participating school's administrators, teachers and other education professionals in the effort to create a positive learning environment that will encompass both staff and students. TAP schools receive funds which are earmarked for the development of teacher-peer mentoring programs, to provide team planning sessions and to reward successful teachers with bonuses and advancements. TAP believes that when the educational staff of a school is strengthened, the trickle down effect will create a positive educational environment which will allow students to gain the confidence and competence to enable them to become productive and contributing members of society.
TAP is operated under the supervision of its creator Lowell Milken and NIET (National Institute for Excellence in Teaching), a national teacher support organization. The program's aims to draw talented teachers to the field of education, strengthen their teaching skills and retain them in the teaching profession.
Periodic evaluations are conducted to follow the progress of the schools which receive TAP funds. Teacher bonuses and advancements are based on the progress of the students.
What do you think?  Is TAP something you'd like to see promoted in your area?  Have you had any experience -- positive or negative -- with TAP schools?

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?