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Focus on Mentee-Mentor Relationships: The 10th Grade Implementation of iMentor's College Ready Program

November 22, 2016

The iMentor College Ready Program is a school-based mentoring program that aims to help students build the mindsets, skills, and knowledge necessary to enroll and succeed in college. iMentor works with partner high schools that serve low-income students, and places at least one full-time staff member in each partner school to help implement the program. In each school, iMentor engages in four key activities:Matching mentees and mentors,Supporting mentee-mentor pairs,Teaching college knowledge and non-cognitive skills through a weekly iMentor class, andProviding mentees and mentors opportunities to interact, in person and online.The Research Alliance is conducting an in-depth evaluation of the iMentor College Ready Program in eight New York City high schools. With support from the Social Innovation Fund, the Research Alliance is examining iMentor's roll-out and implementation in these schools, as well as its impact on a range of outcomes related to students' preparation for college.Focus on Mentee-Mentor Relationships examines how the College Ready program was implemented for 10th graders in all eight evaluation schools. According to iMentor's leaders, the development of close mentee-mentor relationships is the most important outcome for 9th and 10th grade students in the program, because these relationships will provide a foundation for the college readiness, application, and enrollment work that pairs take on in 11th and 12th grade. Therefore, this report focuses on the development of these relationships, as well as the overall quality of program implementation for 10th graders.The report provides a detailed description of the four key components of the iMentor College Ready Program and assesses the implementation of these program elements against specific benchmarks established by iMentor. It also assesses how specific types and quantities of interaction (e.g., emails, text messages, phone calls, in-person meetings) between mentees and mentors are associated with the closeness of their relationships.

Bringing Together Mentoring, Technology, and Whole-School Reform: A First Look at the iMentor College Ready Program

July 1, 2015

The iMentor College Ready Program is a unique model that combines elements of school-based mentoring, whole school reform, and technology in an effort to help students develop the knowledge, behaviors, and skills needed to reach and succeed in college. It is an intensive, four-year intervention offered in schools that serve low-income students. Students are paired with volunteer, college-educated mentors and enrolled in an iMentor class led by a school-based iMentor employee.The program has four central elements: A whole school model, which aims to match all incoming 9thgraders with a mentor, and keep them engaged for their full high school careers;A college-readiness curriculum developed by iMentor, taught by iMentor staff in weekly classes, and reinforced during monthly events for mentees and mentors;A "blended" approach to developing relationships between students and their mentor. Students communicate with their mentor primarily through email, but also meet in person at the iMentor events; andA pair support strategy based on a case-management model for tracking mentee-mentor relationship development.The Research Alliance for New York City Schools is conducting an in-depth evaluation of the iMentor College Ready Program in eight New York City high schools. With support from the Social Innovation Fund, the Research Alliance is examining iMentor's roll-out and implementation in these schools, as well as its impact on a range of outcomes related to students' preparation for college. This report is the first in a series from our evaluation. It focuses on iMentor's first year of implementation, which targeted 9th graders in all eight schools. The report provides a detailed description of the four key components of the iMentor College Ready Program and assesses the implementation of these program elements against specific benchmarks established by iMentor. The report also presents a first look at iMentor's effects on 9th graders' outcomes, including their perception of adult support, their aspirations for the future, a set of important college-related "non-cognitive" skills, and several markers of academic achievement.

What Are the Effects of Teacher Education and Preparation on Beginning Teacher Attrition?

August 1, 2014

This study addresses the question: Do the kinds and amounts of pre-service education and preparation that beginning teachers receive before they start teaching have any impact on whether they leave teaching? Authors Richard Ingersoll, Lisa Merrill, and Henry May examine a wide range of measures of teachers' subject-matter education and pedagogical preparation. They compare different fields of teaching, with a particular focus on mathematics and science, using data from the National Center for Education Statistics' nationally representative 2003-04 Schools and Staffing Survey and its supplement, the 2004-05 Teacher Follow-up Survey. The analyses show that beginning teachers widely varied in the pre-service education and preparation they received. In general, mathematics teachers and, especially, science teachers tended to have more subject-matter content education and more graduate-level education, and to have less pedagogical and methodological preparation than other teachers. The analyses also show that, after controlling for the background characteristics of teachers and their schools, some aspects of the education and preparation that beginning teachers received were significantly associated with their attrition, while others were not. Specifically, the type of college, degree, entry route or certificate mattered little. What did matter was the substance and content of new teachers' pedagogical preparation. Those with more training in teaching methods and pedagogy -- especially practice teaching, observation of other classroom teaching and feedback on their own teaching -- were far less likely to leave teaching after their first year on the job.

Seven Trends: The Transformation of the Teaching Force

April 1, 2014

Has the elementary and secondary teaching force changed in recent years? And, if so, how? Have the types and kinds of individuals going into teaching changed? Have the demographic characteristics of those working in classrooms altered? To answer these questions we embarked on an exploratory research project to try to discover what trends and changes have, or have not, occurred in the teaching force over the past few decades. We were surprised by what we found. We discovered that the teaching force has been, and is, greatly changing; yet, even the most dramatic trends appear to have been little noticed by researchers, policy makers, and the public.

Review of Teacher Layoffs: Rethinking "Last Hired, First Fired" Policies

May 12, 2010

The reviewers credit the report for being straightforward and reasonable, but point out that the reforms it proposes are neither new nor unique and are very challenging to implement.