Teachers union embraces TAP | VailDaily.com

Teachers union embraces TAP

Don Rogers

The March issue of American Teacher, voice of the American Federation of Teachers, endorses the TAP program.

In the feature “Where We Stand,” the union publication asserts that TAP “exemplifies the principle of putting teacher compensation in the context of improving student achievement, and it offers everyone who is concerned with teacher quality and teacher retention plenty of food for thought.”

The piece touts the ability of good teachers to progress in the pay arena faster than the old automatic raises every year, which of course rewards longevity over results. “Where We Stand” approves of the emphasis on teacher development as a key part of the program, noting “you can’t improve teaching merely by offering financial incentives.”

As the Teacher Advancement Program moves into all the schools in the valley, some reluctant teachers and parents they’ve managed to scare have lately kicked up a fresh fuss.

The time to try to stop the program passed two years ago, when the school board committed to the program as part of a wider effort to improve Eagle County’s long middling schools.

The schools that embraced TAP have shown greater progress than those that have not, teacher turnover has decreased, their pay has gone up – and it will go up more if the district finally prevails in the lawsuit filed by taxpayer advocate Michael Cacioppo against the pay increase the voters solidly approved in November 2001.

The teachers deserve to be paid more for the work they do, but they also need to shoulder more accountability for the quality of that work. That’s the compact we should have with our children for their best chances of success in their adult lives. The ATF gets it.

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