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New policy report from New Teacher Center reveals beginning educators need more support

Limited Progress Made in State Policies on New Educator Support Since 2011; Only Four States Require and Fund Multi-Year Teacher Induction

WASHINGTON, DC – March 1, 2016 – New Teacher Center (NTC) released a national report today showing that most states provide insufficient mentoring and support for teachers and principals as they start their careers.

The report—Support From The Start: A 50-State Review of Policies on New Educator Induction and Mentoring—shows only limited progress in most states since 2011. Just four states meet NTC’s main criteria for providing and funding a high-quality system of new teacher support, indicating a clear need for better state policy and educator-support

“Without greater state policy attention to support for new teachers, we’ll be less able to keep them on the job or help them be effective for students,” said Ellen Moir, founder and CEO of NTC, a nonprofit organization based in Santa Cruz, California. “States must improve their policies to accelerate the development of new teachers and principals—and the mentors who work with them.”

Connecticut, Delaware and Iowa are the only states that require schools and districts to provide multi-year support for beginning teachers, for teachers to complete an induction program for a professional license, and provide dedicated program funding. Hawaii requires and funds a multi-year induction program for teachers and school principals, but not for educator licensure.

But even those four states do not meet all of the nine main state policy criteria in the report. Most states still do not require support for new school principals, have not adopted quality standards for educator induction programs, have not prioritized ongoing professional development for teacher mentors, and do not ensure dedicated time for mentors to support beginning educators.

“States must ensure that induction support for beginning educators is comprehensive,” said Dr. Richard Ingersoll, professor of education and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Limited mentoring programs of insufficient duration do not achieve the desired impact on classroom teaching and student outcomes.”

“Policy alone won’t address all of the challenges new educators face, but it does guide this area of educator quality that deserves far greater attention,” said Liam Goldrick, NTC director of policy. “Strengthening state policies will contribute to the ultimate goal of improving student achievement.”

The new report examines state induction and mentoring program requirements for new teachers and principals, and their mentors—and, for the first time, state policies on teaching and learning conditions, now a recognized measure of school improvement under the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law by President Obama in

Among the report’s other key findings and examples of progress:

  • Of the 29 states that now require some type of support for new teachers, only 15 require support in teachers’ first and second years.
  • Nine states require support for new teachers for a period longer than two years (usually three years): Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio (four years) and Utah.
  • Only 20 states require mentoring support for all first-year school principals and administrators. Only six states—California, Delaware, Hawaii, Missouri, New Jersey, and Vermont—provide at least two years of support.
  • A slight majority of states have specific policies to guide teacher-mentor selection. More than 30 states require mentor training, but only 18 of those require initial training plus ongoing mentor professional development.
  • Twelve states establish a minimum amount of contact time between a mentor and a beginning teacher, either on a weekly, semester or annual basis. Seven states—Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, New Hampshire, Ohio and Washington—use, require or encourage full-time teacher mentors.
  • Twenty-four states require new teachers to complete or participate in an induction program for professional teaching certification. Fourteen states require induction for new school principals as part of the licensure process.
  • Only 16 states provide some dedicated funding for teacher induction, but only nine states (Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, North Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia) provide induction funding to all school districts.
    • California has appropriated $490 million in Educator Effectiveness funding for use during the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years that may be used for beginning teacher and administrator induction.
    • Iowa, in addition to state funding for teacher induction, also supports the $150 million Teacher Leadership and Compensation System that, in part, supports teacher mentoring in participating districts.
    • Alaska and Kentucky each support statewide induction programs.

For full details and state-by-state detail on policy around support for new teachers, read the full NTC report.

You may also visit our YouTube channel to see a video of the “Support From the Start” release event in its entirety.

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Media Contact:

Lauren Empson

lempson@newteachercenter.org

831.713.6508