New Teacher Center Policy News

NTC Releases Nation's First Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction  

Project Overview   

The latest evidence suggests that beginning teachers are more common in our schools today than at any other time in at least the last twenty years. In 1987-88 the typical teacher had 15 years of experience; by 2007-08, the typical teacher had but one year in the classroom. As policymakers work on strengthening accountability and expectations for teachers, they must ensure that teacher development is a more central focus of their efforts -- especially for these beginning teachers. A meaningful evaluation system should not only measure teaching performance, but also provide systemic opportunities to develop teaching practice and help teachers continuously learn and improve. In response to these trends, high-quality induction programs are needed today more than ever. State policy has a critical role to play in creating a supportive context and establishing a strong expectation that comprehensive support will be provided toe very beginning educator. 


Released today, NTC's Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction provides the first comprehensive look at induction policies in each of the 50 states (during the 2010-11 school year). For each state, NTC summarizes existing policies related to 10 key criteria most critical to the provision of universal, high-quality induction and mentoring support for beginning educators. These criteria work in concert to support and guide local school districts to design and implement high-quality induction programs. States that come closest to meeting all 10 criteria will raise the likelihood that every new educator receives a sufficient level of induction and mentoring support, will ensure that local programs are comprehensive and include key quality components, and will enjoy the resulting benefits-including enhanced teacher effectiveness.


With our policy paper and our 50 individual state policy reviews, we aim to assist state policymakers in designing and revising policies on new educator induction and mentoring. We made an intentional decision not to grade or rank states against these policy criteria. Instead, we are choosing to share this information with state leaders and other interested stakeholders in an effort to provide a clear assessment of state policy and to suggest areas for improvement.


What We Found  

NTC's analysis suggests that there is much work to be done by state policymakers to construct high-quality policies supporting comprehensive new teacher induction. While we are able to identify state exemplars on each of our 10 state policy criteria and while several states show strengths across multiple criteria, no single U.S. state has perfected its induction policy to ensure the provision of high-impact, multi-year induction support for all beginning educators.


Today, more than half the states require new teachers to participate in some form of induction or mentoring and, as a result, more new teachers receive mentoring or induction support than ever before. While the comprehensiveness and funding of these state policies vary widely, they have been enacted to ensure the provision of induction support and the assignment of a mentor or coach, thereby enhancing the quality of teaching and learning. However, only 3 states (Connecticut, Delaware and Iowa) require schools and districts to provide multi-year induction support to beginning teachers, require teachers to complete an induction program to obtain a professional teaching license, and provide dedicated state induction funding.


Our collective challenge is to dramatically improve state policy to truly meet the needs of our newest educators and their students -- and to fully embrace the power of comprehensive, multi-year induction programs to accelerate new teacher development and effectiveness. At NTC we hope that this analysis and the example of leading states will serve as a road map to assist state policymakers and program leaders better prioritize the needs of new teachers and design stronger policies to accomplish it.


Major Findings 
Only 3 states require schools and districts to provide multi-year induction support to beginning teachers, require teachers to complete an induction program to obtain a professional teaching license, and provide dedicated state induction funding: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa.

11 states
require induction or mentoring for all first- and second-year teachers: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Utah. (In September 2011, Ohio became the 12th).

3 states
require induction or mentoring for all first- and second-year school administrators: Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey.

9 states
' policies address three key induction program elements: mentor-new teacher contact time, formative assessment of teaching practice and classroom observations: Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina.

6 states
among the 22 whose policies provide a clear focus on program quality and program improvement create the tightest linkage between program evaluation and the state's induction program standards: California, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina.

Our Policy Recommendations 

Establish a multi-year induction requirement for all new educators -- teachers and school administrators. Require successful completion of a multi-year educator induction program as a condition for earning advanced professional certification.

Formally adopt induction program standards
to guide the design and operation of local programs and to serve as a tool for program improvement and accountability.

Establish explicit mentor selection criteria
, including evidence of teaching excellence and an ability to serve effectively as a mentor.

Provide or require foundational mentor training
prior to assignment and on-going mentor professional development.

Require programs to provide regular release time for classroom teachers serving as mentors
to meet with and observe beginning teachers during the school day.  

Allow the use of full-time mentors
who are able to support larger caseloads of beginning teachers.

Create sanctioned time for interactions between mentors and beginning teachers.

Provide dedicated funding for induction programs.
Do not restrict state funding to mentor stipends exclusively.

Develop robust, thoughtful accountability structures
that move toward a focus on program improvement and the measurement of program outcomes. 

NTC Policy News is a monthly publication by the New Teacher Center. It is produced with funding support from the Joyce Foundation. Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Joyce Foundation invests in initiatives to improve public education and works to close the achievement gap by improving the quality of teachers in schools that serve low-income and minority children.



In This Issue
Project Overview
What We Found
Major Findings
Our Policy Recommendations
Related NTC Policy Publications
Let Us Help You
To collaborate with NTC on state initiatives to strengthen the development of and support for new educators, email us.

We offer a wide array of services to policy makers and policy professionals to ensure the development of effective programs and practices around teacher and principal induction.

Newsletter Archive


View Past Newsletters Here  


Related NTC Policy Publications 

Teachers Are The Center of Education: Mentoring, Teaching and Improving Student Learning 




New Teacher Excellence:

The Impact of State Policy on Induction Program Implementation




New Teacher Support Pays Off: A Return on Investment for Educators and Kids



Connect with NTC
  Find us on Facebook  View our videos on YouTube

About NTC  

New Teacher Center focuses on improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers by providing high-quality mentoring and professional development, strengthening school leadership, and working to enhance teaching conditions.


Learn More  

Join Our Mailing List