An Evaluation of the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) in Chicago: Year One Impact Report

Publication Date: April 2009

Publisher: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Author(s): Steven Glazerman; Allison McKie; Nancy Carey

Research Area: Education

Keywords: Teacher Incentives; Chicago Public Schools; Merit Pay; Teacher Retention

Type: Report

Coverage: Illinois


The Teacher Advancement Program (TAP), a whole-school intervention that aims to improve schools by raising teacher quality, provides teachers with opportunities for professional growth, promotion to school leadership roles without leaving the classroom, structured feedback, and performance-based compensation. This report focuses on the Chicago Public Schools, which began implementing TAP in 2007. Early findings from Mathematica's study, which focused on the district's K-8 schools, note that teachers in TAP schools reported significantly more mentoring and support than their peers in similar schools. Although TAP led to changes inside schools, these changes did not produce measurable impacts on student test scores through March of the start-up year. In addition, the program had a significant impact on teacher retention. TAP teachers were five percentage points more likely to return to their schools than were non-TAP teachers.