Grant Announcement

    The National Institute for Excellence in teaching (NIET) has been awarded $15.2 million from the federal Teacher Incentive Fund to develop effective teachers in two rural high-need districts in Tennessee.  Athens City Schools in Athens and Morgan County Schools in Wartburg will implement TAP:  The System for Teacher and Student Advancement--one of NIET's signature initiatives.  Introduced in 1999, TAP revitalizes the teaching profession through leadership opportunities, professional development, evaluation and performance-based compensation.
    NIET will partner with the districts to help put TAP's leadership and support structures in place. This includes building a cadre of teacher leaders--known as TAP master and mentor teachers--in every building, who along with administrators make up the leadership team.  This team drives instruction in the school by setting goals, establishing weekly TAP professional development "cluster" meetings, a rigorous evaluation system and teacher pay based on classroom observations and student achievement growth.
    The $15.2 million amount is projected over five years.  The grant provides nearly $4 million for the first two years, with the possibility of receiving the projected total contingent upon annual congressional appropriations.  The part of the grant for Morgan County is $9,828,995 with a local match expectation of $2,286,662 yielding a five-year project total of $12,115,657.
    TAP:  the system for Teacher and Student Advancement is a comprehensive reform to increase teacher and principal quality.  TAP links performance-based compehsation to systems and processes such as professional development, evaluation and career advancement, to help all educators in a school improvement.  Learn more about TAP at
    Released by Jana Rausch
    September 28, 2012