On April 20, the Vail Daily ran a story entitled “Not all teachers ready to embrace TAP plan.” Sadly, this fantastic opportunity to share multiple perspectives missed its mark. Only a few teachers from two of the current TAP schools were interviewed. We are concerned that the story is not an accurate representation of the growth (and growing pains) TAP is currently experiencing.
The purpose of implementing TAP is to improve student achievement through improved instructional practices. We were alarmed to discover (through the reported story) that some opponents of TAP do not think that teachers can directly impact student achievement.
We know that there are a variety of factors, external to schools, that impact student achievement. Parent involvement, nutrition, consistent school attendance, whether or not academic achievement is a family priority and a variety of social and emotional needs all have a significant impact on a student’s yearly progress.
Those particular factors may shape the students that walk through our doors, but another variable must also enter the picture – quality teaching. We may feel powerless over the external variables previously mentioned, but we can certainly control the quality and function of our individual classroom instruction. Our position remains that student achievement is directly impacted by a highly qualified teacher.
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