Daily Editorial: Pays to look at TAP | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: Pays to look at TAP

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

Of all the complaints heard from teachers about TAP ” on the record and whispered in secret ” pay seems to rank highest.

At the very least, the way the Eagle County School District determines raises and bonuses for its teachers is confusing. At most, that part of the teacher advancement program is unfair and in serious need of an overhaul.

The district and its new human resources director, Jason Glass, get good marks for promising to take a harder look at the complicated equation used to determine teacher pay. Right now, most teachers don’t fully understand how the data is used ” from student test scores to teacher evaluations ” to determine how much money they will make the following year. Each of the 16 schools has a different way of evaluating its teachers. That means pay raises can vary across the board ” and not necessarily in a way that indicates who is a good teacher and who is not.

That defeats one of the primary purposes of TAP, which is to hold teachers accountable for what they do in the classroom and to issue pay raises according to their performance. Gone are the days when educators were rewarded simply for sticking around instead of improving the success of their students.

The other primary purpose ” and more important purpose, frankly, for the rest of us ” is to improve student achievement. Local schools must continue to make strides in that regard, despite the challenges that come each year with educating more and more students who aren’t native English speakers.

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It’s a tall order, but public education is too important to ask for anything less. That’s why changing what’s wrong with TAP and keeping the rest makes sense.

” Tamara Miller for the Editorial Board

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