Examining the Factor Structure Underlying the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement

  • Edward F. Sloat (Contributor)
  • Audrey Amrein-Beardsley (Contributor)
  • Kent E Sabo (Contributor)



In this study, we investigated the factor structure underlying the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement using confirmatory and exploratory factor–analytic methods and under conditions of multilevel (nested) data structures and ordinal measurement scales. We found evidence of generally poor fit with the system’s posited first-order, three-factor structure with relatively large correlations among measured dimensions. Exploratory analysis suggests one to two interpretable factors, one of which accounts for the majority of explained variance (i.e., a general or common underlying factor). Higher-order modeling confirms the presence of a bifactor structure composed of a single general trait supported by one or two subscales. We use this evidence to question the validity of the inferences drawn from TAP subscale scores. We accordingly discuss implications for low- and high-stakes applications of TAP output, especially when consequential decisions are attached to subscale-level estimates (i.e., teacher compensation based on latent performance as rated through weighted subscales).,Data was not weighted.,Response Rates: Data was originally available for 1,497 classroom teachers. Data integrity issues reduced this amount to a usable 1,313 individuals (88%).,Presence of Common Scales: Observational Rubric Scoring: Five-option (Integer) Likert Scale (Lowest = 1, Highest = 5)
For each classroom teacher a total of 19 observational scores were recorded, one each for the instructional actions/components evaluated by the TAP System of Evaluation.
,coded on-site observation~~Data represents observational evaluation scores for public (non-charter) school classroom teachers in elementary, middle school, and high school settings. Data elements represent scores on a 5-option Likert scale (Integer; Low=1, High=5) across 19 observational components. Data represents evaluation ratings for 1,313 classroom teachers across 14 school districts and 54 campus locations.,K-12 Students, K-12 Classroom Teachers, K-12 Public Schools, United StatesSmallest Geographic Unit: Individual with school campus and district,District, school campus, and classroom teacher evaluation data was obtained from a state-wide public school support project which implemented the TAP teacher evaluation system. Agency (district/school) participation in the project was self-selected.,
Date made availableJan 1 2019

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