Early Results Are In: NTC Model Leads to Student Learning
By Ali Picucci, PhD, NTC Vice President of Impact and Improvement —
Early results from a third-party evaluation of our i3-funded work are in, and show NTC’s induction program yields more intense and instructionally-focused supports to new teachers that lead to student learning.
One of the most strategic ways to improve teacher practice is through intensive one-on-one mentoring support. At New Teacher Center, our focus on providing highly-skilled mentors to support new teachers in the classroom through our Teacher Induction Model has proven results in accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers so that every student can succeed.
In 2012, we received the federal Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation Grant, allowing us to expand our work into three sites, pair more mentors with new teachers, and assess which components of our new teacher induction model positively affected teachers and students.
Across the three sites, we collected data between fall 2013 and spring 2015 for two cohorts of teachers using randomized controlled trials and a quasi-experimental approach. We wanted to be able to answer two key questions:
1) Are we implementing NTC’s induction model with high quality, and;
2) Are we improving teacher and student outcomes?
By the end of the second year, we found that NTC treatment teachers received more intense and instructionally-focused supports than control teachers who were receiving the traditional district mentor support. There was more frequent interactions and feedback exchanged and a greater focus on differentiating instruction to meet students’ needs. These differences in support translate into differences in student achievement.
In the early and preliminary examination of student achievement data, the evaluator found that after just one year, students of NTC-supported teachers gained 2 to 3.5 months of additional learning in reading compared to control teachers, and the difference was statistically significant. Though the results in math were not statistically significant, the effects were directionally positive. Additional results on student achievement and teacher retention outcomes are forthcoming. While we can’t yet make broad claims due to pending analyses, we are excited to continue our data collection through spring 2016 and share additional findings of our impact as we learn more.
This coming fall, NTC is expanding this work through an i3 Scale Up award to five additional districts. We have the exciting opportunity to explore the impact of various mentoring supports, such as the use of video technology in classroom observations, virtual professional development offerings, and testing the flexibility of mentor classroom release times in a variety of settings. We want to know not only if we are making an impact, but what components of a mentoring model are critical for meeting students’ needs.
“…after just one year, students of NTC-supported teachers gained 2 to 3.5 months of additional learning in reading compared to control teachers.”
We have maintained a focus on continuously building and improving our services on behalf of new teachers and students through research. We expect districts across the country will benefit as we apply what we learn in i3 across the organization to ensure that we have the necessary programmatic components and data systems in place everywhere we work.
We are at a critical juncture in our organizational history as we work to scale our efforts and reach more teachers and students across the country. It would be easy to rest on our laurels and impact studies done so far. But we know scaling requires precision.
Our i3 grant has helped us precisely define the critical elements of our model, and we look forward to learning more through our evaluation about all of the elements of our model and how they come together to impact teacher retention, instructional practices, and ultimately student success.
It is a tremendous opportunity that benefits New Teacher Center and an entire generation of teachers starting their careers with the support they need to actually make a difference for students.
We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.