Federal Grant Analysis Shows Promising Impact of NTC Trained Mentors on Teacher Practice and Student Achievement
Preliminary i3 Scale-Up results show students of new teachers gain up to 6 additional months of learning in math compared to their peers
SANTA CRUZ, CA ― New Teacher Center (NTC), a national nonprofit focused on improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders, received the preliminary results of the U.S. Department of Education’s i3 Scale-Up grant, which found that, regardless of district context, when teacher mentors receive NTC’s high-quality, consistent professional learning, the teachers they mentor are more effective and their students learn more.
Specifically, students of new teachers in grades 4-8 gained up to 6 additional months of learning in math compared to their peers taught by teachers who receive traditional professional supports. This analysis also found that two years of NTC’s teacher induction support had a positive impact on teacher practice, especially in a teacher’s ability to engage students in learning and teachers’ use of assessments in instruction.
“While results are preliminary, we are still excited to see the correlation between quality teacher induction and student achievement confirmed,” noted NTC’s new Chief Executive Officer, Desmond Blackburn. “By sharing these results with the field, we can shift our thinking and actions to provide teachers more effective supports so that they can get better faster. This is essential as we continue on our journey to end educational inequities. Our students can’t wait.”
The i3 Scale-Up study expands the 2012 i3 Validation analysis to examine the impact of NTC’s teacher induction program in several high-needs districts (with an average of 70% of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch), including: Fresno Unified School District; Miami-Dade County Public Schools; New York City Department of Education; Polk County Public Schools; and San Francisco Unified School District. The professional learning supports that NTC provides to mentors of new teachers (teachers who started in the fall of 2016 – Cohort 1) are measured against traditional new teacher supports offered by the districts. Such traditional supports may include some mentor training and some provisions for the amount of time teachers receive support.
“Providing high-quality teacher development remains a key lever in increasing student achievement in Miami-Dade,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent, Alberto M. Carvalho. “Our partnership with NTC has better enabled our new teachers to acquire the skills they need to continue enhancing their instructional practice at a truly pivotal point in their careers. The impact of the support they are receiving will be felt for years to come. These educators will lead their students to transformational outcomes and are contributing to a culture of collegial supports and professional learning within their schools.”
The analyses measured several outcomes described below by comparing teachers who receive NTC’s teacher induction against those who receive traditional district professional supports. Outcomes include: student outcomes, as measured by state assessments, and new teacher practice as measured by third party observations using the Danielson Framework for Teaching. This evaluation included eight areas of the Framework:
- Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport;
- Establishing a Culture for Learning;
- Managing Classroom Procedures;
- Managing Student Behavior;
- Communicating with Students;
- Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques;
- Engaging Students in Learning; and
- Using Assessment in Instruction.
“In Fresno Unified School District, we are fully aware of the impact that a teacher has on student learning and have made the investment to support them as professionals,” said Kim Mecum, Chief Academic Officer of Fresno Unified. “Our efforts in side-by-side coaching have yielded a 98% retention rate and increased student achievement, and our Teacher Development Office for the last 11 years, led by Administrator Teresa Morales, has allowed us to maintain a stable workforce of high quality teachers, increasing student achievement. Our partnership with the New Teacher Center has provided quality guidance and support on developing high quality teachers.”
Preliminary, internal, descriptive survey data shows that teachers supported by NTC trained mentors also spend more time focused on instructional skills such as lesson planning, assessing student learning, and creating an optimal learning environment. This correlation was originally seen in the i3 Validation teacher survey and was a leading indicator of student learning gains.
These findings provide promising evidence that NTC induction support across a variety of district contexts can help beginning teachers surmount early obstacles to success and focus on increasing their students’ learning.
“Through the i3 NTC partnership, Miami-Dade County Public Schools has been able to strengthen and amplify its current Mentoring and Induction for New Teachers (MINT) program to support new teachers from pre-service through onboarding and induction,” explained Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Chief Human Capital Officer, Jose L. Dotres. “More importantly, the role of the mentor teacher has been elevated to accelerate early career teacher practice and mentor teachers are emerging as teacher leaders.”
This study is ongoing and this analysis includes only preliminary evidence from the first cohort of study teachers. The final Scale-Up evaluation will conclude in December 2020 and will be released thereafter.