Chicago Succeeds With Performance Pay Teacher Advancement Program

Chicago Public School District, one of SMHC’s Case Study districts, is having early success with a federally funded, performance pay pilot program. Chicago Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) is a five-year program that offers bonuses to all staff at nine elementary schools and one high school, depending on the performance of students in those schools. In celebration of the first year’s positive results, U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings joined Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan and Mayor Richard Daley, as well as participating teachers and organizations in Chicago on Thursday, December 11.

As reported in the Chicago Tribune, the district showed approximately a 3.7 percent increase on composite scores, and nine schools increased by 5.2 percentage points this last year. However, the district’s composite score – made up of results on reading, math and science tests – of all students meeting or exceeding state requirements still lags behind the state average.

The district’s partners in TAP include the Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, The Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Joyce Foundation. Janet M. Knupp, Founding President of the Chicago Public Education Fund and SMHC Task Force Member, said “The Chicago Public Education Fund marked a significant milestone of one of its recent investments, Chicago TAP, with a press conference featuring Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Public School officials. Chicago TAP is a customized initiative based on the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching’s (NIET) proven TAP model. The system encompasses performance based compensation, classroom observations, job-embedded professional development and school-based career opportunities for teachers and principals. As a result of participation in Chicago TAP, teachers can advance professionally and earn higher salaries, just as in other careers. And they can do so without leaving the place they’re needed most – the classroom.”

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