When principals, mentors and teachers have the skills they need to improve instruction… students succeed as indicated by the research findings below.
A federally-funded randomized controlled trial found that beginning teachers who received two years of induction produced greater student learning gains when compared with those who received less intensive mentoring. These gains are equivalent of a student moving from the 50th to the 58th percentile in math and from the 50th to the 54th percentile in reading. The study did not show results until year three. This may be due to start-up challenges and suggests that programs must commit to intensive focus on implementation in the first year.
Maintaining Intensive Induction Results in Greater Student Learning Gains
Research based on Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project found that continuing intensive induction in the second year yields greater gains, (27 - 33% points) in student achievement when compared to models that have only one year of intensive support. All three districts had a 1:15 mentor- ratio for Year 1 teachers. However, in Year 2, District A went to a non-intensive buddy system , District B changed the ratio of mentors to new teachers to 1:35, and District C maintained the intensity of the mentoring support by continuing mentor-teacher ratio of 1:15.
* Source: Fletcher, S., Strong, M. & Villar, A. (2005) An Investigation of the Effects of Variations in Mentor-Based Induction on the Performance of Students in California. Santa Cruz, CA: NewTeacher Center.
Beginning teachers performance related to student gains on par with that of veterans
The following data, also based on Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project, suggests that when new teachers have access to high quality mentoring, their students can make gains equal to or greater than their veteran peers contradicting a large body of research that suggests new teachers typically foster the least student gains.
In this research, beginning teachers are shown to be making similar student gains as their veteran counterparts on SAT9 tests, even given the fact that the new teachers in this program are assigned with a greater proportion of English Language Learner (ELL) students.
* Source: Michael Strong, Stephen Fletcher, and Anthony Villar. (2004.) An Investigation of the Effects of Teacher Experience and Teacher Preparedness on the Performance of Latino students in California. New Teacher Center, Santa Cruz, CA.