The Teacher Advancement Program at Cincinnati Schools Seeks to Keep Good Teachers

By Stacey Andell for Schools K-12

Cincinnati Pilot Schools

Cincinnati Schools are pleased to announce that three area schools have been selected to participate in a nationwide pilot program to improve teacher quality.   The three Cincinnati Public Schools chosen include John P. Parker School in Madisonville, South Avondale School in Avondale, and Whittier School in Price Hill.   All the schools were chosen based on their federal ranking within the No Child Left Behind Act.   The program is intended to show the strong influence that quality instruction has on student achievement as well as developing professional opportunities for teachers to hone their skills and receive rewards for their hard work.

Rationale for the Teacher Advancement Program

The Teacher Advancement Program recognizes that many young and gifted teachers choose to leave the professional early in their careers.   The Teacher Advancement Program seeks to change that by offering qualified teachers the career opportunities and recognition that will keep them in the Cincinnati Public School system.   The overall aim is to make teaching a highly rewarding career choice that attracts talent to serve the children in Cincinnati Public Schools.  

Superintendent Rosa Blackwell expresses her feelings about the Teacher Advancement Program in this way:  “I am extremely excited about this pilot program, which is closely aligned with other instructional initiatives in Cincinnati Public Schools.  Research shows that quality teaching is the most important factor in raising student achievement, and this program is designed to enhance teaching by directing instructional resources where they are most needed – in the heart of the classroom.” 

The Ohio Board of Education as well as the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers both endorse the Teacher Advancement Program.   Cincinnati Federation of Teachers president, Sue Taylor, comments, “This is a reform initiative that brings together in a structural way the work that our teachers already are doing.  It’s a value – added model that will monitor a student’s progress from the first day of class to the last and will measure the value that the teacher has added.   TAP complements the instructional strategies being implemented in our schools, giving teachers a cohesive and aligned structure.” 

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching praises Cincinnati Public Schools for adopting the Teacher Advancement Program.   President Lewis C. Solomon explains, “We are very pleased that Cincinnati Public Schools and the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers have taken this bold step to implement the Teacher Advancement Program in three schools.  The implementation of TAP is aligned to district goals focusing on improved instruction and the increased achievement for all students.”

Overview of the Teacher Advancement Program

The Teacher Advancement Program seeks to help Cincinnati Public School teachers in four ways.   First, it seeks to provide opportunities for applied professional growth, allowing teachers to meet with each other and devise strategies to help all students learn the week’s agenda.   Secondly, the program will show teachers the multiple career paths open to them, offering mentors and master lead teachers to help teachers plan and reflect on instruction.   Thirdly, the program monitors instructionally focused accountability, where teachers learn how to interpret student data in order to improve instruction.   Finally, incentive pay is possible to reward teachers for high student achievement as well as seeking out professional and instructional growth.