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Cross-State Analyses of Results of 2012-13 Teaching Empowering Leading and Learning (TELL) Survey Research Report

September 25, 2013

New Teacher Center worked collaboratively with nine state coalitions - including governors, state education agencies, teacher associations, stakeholder groups and practitioners - to implement the Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) survey statewide in nine states from the spring of 2012 to the spring of 2103. The TELL survey is a full-population survey of school-based licensed educators designed to report the perceptions about the presence of teaching and learning conditions that research has shown increase student learning and teacher retention.The conditions assessed in the TELL survey include:TimeFacilities and ResourcesProfessional DevelopmentSchool LeadershipTeacher LeadershipInstructional Practices and SupportManaging Student ConductCommunity Support and InvolvementNew Teacher Support (for teachers in their first three years in the profession)This report compares the results of the TELL survey at the state level across the country, providing an additional contextual lens for interpreting the results from each participating state to better understand their own findings.

Increasing the Effectiveness of Educator Induction Programs in Colorado

May 30, 2013

State policy has a critical role to play to ensure that new educators are assisted from the first day they walk into their school and classroom in a way that will bolster their morale, keep them in the profession, strengthen their teaching and leadership abilities, and accelerate their impact on student learning. In 2011 and 2012, New Teacher Center had the opportunity to complete a detailed analysis of the state of Colorado's educator induction policies and practices. This final report details our full analysis and state policy recommendations. Our work in Colorado had three main purposes. First, it aimed to determine the characteristics of a quality induction program; second, to examine current state policies and local practices that align with those quality indicators; and third, to provide recommendations on actions the state can take to increase the effectiveness of induction programs. The specifics of our work involved: a review of Colorado's current laws and policies on induction; a comprehensive review of research-based literature on induction; an audit of more than 200 induction program plans on file at the Colorado Department of Education; and interviews with more than two dozen program leaders, administrators and teachers about induction programs operated by Colorado school districts, BOCES, charter schools and private schools.Colorado recognizes that the accelerated development and support of beginning teachers and school leaders is an essential component of the state's vision for educator effectiveness. This work is in service of the vision of the Council for Educator Effectiveness to ensure that the state "provides teachers and principals ... with ongoing feedback and support needed to improve performance." It also is directly responsive to the Council's 2011 recommendation that the state strengthen requirements for the renewal and approval of educator induction programs.Existing induction programs, in Colorado and across the nation, vary in quality from old-fashioned "buddy systems" that provide limited emotional and logistical support to comprehensive, systematized initiatives that utilize carefully selected and trained mentors and provide structured time for interaction focused on improving new teachers' content knowledge, classroom management, and instructional skills. A primary aim for state policy is to establish an expectation that all new educators will be provided a meaningful level of instructional and pedagogical support, especially in those settings where they currently are not.In Colorado, our analysis found that approximately three quarters of induction program plans communicated design elements that placed them at the basic level of program comprehensiveness. In many cases, it is difficult to suggest that such basic induction or mentoring programs are not doing the minimum required by state policy. From a program effectiveness standpoint, however, these programs are nowhere close to modeling practices that will result in the desired impact on teaching effectiveness. For example, most Colorado induction programs only support first-year teachers. Fifty-eight percent of programs reported a one-year induction period. Only 15 percent of program plans indicated serving beginning teachers for two or more years. Twenty-one percent of Colorado induction programs report providing release time to mentors. Seven percent of programs exhibiting the most extensive provision of time for induction and mentoring, including at least 30 hours of contact time between a mentor and beginning teacher annually.To increase the effectiveness of induction programs and enhance the likelihood that such programs will accelerate the development and effectiveness of new educators, New Teacher Center recommends that Colorado take the following actions:1 Develop Statewide Induction Program Standards2 Provide More Regular and Intensive Induction Program Oversight3 Assess The Effectiveness and Impact of Induction Programs4 Strengthen Requirements for Educator Induction Programs (including program duration, mentor quality and frequency of mentoring)5 Provide Dedicated State Funding to Elevate Induction Program Quality and Enhance Mentor Capacity6. Establish an Online Clearinghouse of Induction Best Practices and Key Program Tools

Cultivating Effective Teachers Through Evaluation and Support: A Guide for Illinois Policymakers and Educational Leaders

February 25, 2013

Reform of educator evaluation, in Illinois and around the nation, is intended to more accurately identify effective and ineffective teachers and to inform teacher development. The reality is that more effort and attention has been focused on how to rate teachers within such systems than on how to design these systems to provide regular and useful feedback on teaching. If the 2010 Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) is to achieve its aims in Illinois, it must help teachers to learn and improve on the job.For beginning teachers, the challenge is more pronounced. On average, new teachers are less effective than their more experienced peers. Improvements in individual teaching practices tend to occur during these early years in the classroom, when teachers are applying lessons learned during preparation and developing their own pedagogical approach. While beginning teachers should not be held to a different performance standard, they do require more intensive support and more frequent feedback to grow into highly effective practitioners. This is one reason why highly structured, intensive new teacher support is prized by beginning teachers -- and strengthens their teaching.If PERA is to accelerate new teacher effectiveness, beginning teachers in Illinois will require more feedback and support than what is provided by this law alone. An aligned system of high-quality induction -- featuring regular contact with a mentor, frequent classroom observation, on -- going opportunities to engage in reflection and self-assessment, and actionable, "real time" feedback to inform instructional improvement throughout the school year -- would provide the necessary intensity of instructional support. To accomplish this, Illinois should design and articulate a comprehensive talent development system with teacher learning at its center.Illinois is well-positioned to succeed. Its deep commitment to successful PERA design coupled with a gradual approach to implementation has put the state on the right track. Its existing induction program standards and new induction rules lend important tools to the effort to address the unique learning curve of beginning teachers.This Guide explores how the state can solidify PERA's role in informing and supporting new teacher development. In this effort, we have identified two main priorities for Illinois policymakers and PERA implementers.Design a comprehensive educator effectiveness system that encompasses both evaluation and robust instructional feedback and support. For new teachers, this system must include induction support aligned with PERA's evaluation requirements.Encourage and enable teacher leaders to serve as teacher mentors and as peer evaluators. Instructional improvement is a collective responsibility and is too critical and time-intensive an endeavor to leave solely to school administrators.

Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction

February 16, 2012

Outlines criteria and recommendations for state policies on providing mentoring support for new teachers and administrators, including universality, program standards on design and operation, mentor quality, program delivery, funding, and accountability.

New Teacher Excellence: The Impact of State Policy on Induction Program Implementation

November 1, 2010

Focusing specifically on state policies on supporting new teachers, it dispels the notion that policy itself is a cure-all. It takes a more expansive view of policy -- including not just legislation and regulations, but also funding, evaluation and program infrastructure -- and concludes that, in the case of teacher induction, while comprehensive state policies may increase the likelihood that intensive induction programs will take root in schools and districts, it is also dependent upon a range of contextual factors, including leadership support, stakeholder commitment and a collective vision. This report has implications for public policies beyond simply those focused on new teachers.

Supporting New Teachers of Color and Cultural Diversity

January 30, 2009

Educators and policy makers are calling for increasing the racial and cultural diversity of the teacher workforce, given the widening cultural gap between students and teachers (see Figure 1), and the widening achievement gap between students of color and White students. Some research suggests teachers of color can address the needs of students of color through culturally relevant practices (Quiocho & Rios, 2000). However, recent studies reveal teachers of color suffer greater job dissatisfaction and higher turnover than White teachers (Ingersoll & Connor, 2008; Marvel et al., 2007).Furthermore, cultural practices of teachers of color, if valued in our schools, need to be developed rather than assumed (Sheets, 2000). Given these circumstances, educators are faced with the following questions:- What factors impact retention and attrition of new teachers of color?- What factors support new teachers of color to develop and implement practices that address the needs of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds?These questions are addressed by a team of researchers at the New Teacher Center, UCSC in a study that followed 21 teachers of color over five years, from preparation through four years of teaching in high-need California schools serving low-income and high-minority student populations.

Comprehensive Induction or Add-on Induction: Impact on Teacher Practice and Student Engagement

January 29, 2009

In recent years, we have seen a rapid expansion of policies and resources devoted to new teacher induction. Most of these policies are based on an assumption that induction programs have a positive influence on teacher quality and student learning. Yet there is little evidence to support claims for such policies regarding the distinct components of induction programs or their effectiveness (Wang, Odell & Schwille, 2008). Scholars have argued for targeted mentoring that addresses the learning needs of beginning teachers with regard to instructional practice (Feiman-Nemser, 2001). Some suggest that induction efforts may increase teacher knowledge, student achievement, teacher satisfaction, and retention (Darling-Hammond, 1999; Fletcher, Strong & Villar, 2008; Smith & Ingersoll, 2004).There is, however, insufficient data to assist educators and policy makers in determining the most effective or critical components of induction programs. There is scant consensus around a number of induction issues, for example: the most effective mentoring condition (full-time or add-on mentoring); the amount of time required to enhance the development of beginning teachers; the amount of professional development mentors need to be effective; and the level of match (subject or grade level) required between mentor and beginning teacher. Furthermore, few studies explore the different components of induction and their effects on teacher and student outcomes.Given such a dearth of evidence and the current state of induction policy, this study was developed to examine differences in student engagement and teacher instructional practice in two types of induction conditions: comprehensive full-time induction and add-on induction. These two conditions differed in- the amount of mentor participation in professional development on induction;- the amount of time mentors could spend on structured observations, reflection, and feedback focused on pedagogy;- mentors' abilities to prioritize induction efforts;- mentors' abilities to serve as liaisons between beginning teachers and administrators; and- the amount of professional development mentors could offer beginning teachers.The goal of this study was to examine the instructional practice of beginning teachers who were mentored in these two conditions and to explore differences in instructional practice and student engagement.

The Costs and Benefits of a Comprehensive Induction Program

July 16, 2007

Until now there have been no benefit-cost studies of mentoring programs for beginning teachers to provide legislators, educational administrators, and program leaders with the kind of economic information they need for informed decision making. In a benefit-cost analysis we estimate the financial benefits of a given course of action against the actual costs, and use the resulting balance to guide decision making. Costs are either one-time, or may be ongoing. Benefits are most often received over time. In its simple form, benefit-cost analysis is carried out using only actual financial costs and financial benefits. A more sophisticated approach attempts also to put a financial value on intangible costs and benefits, a process that can be highly subjective. In order to provide an estimate of the potential return on the investment in a comprehensive mentoring program for beginning teachers we collected actual cost data for the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project across all its local contexts,calculated the measured benefits, assigning them a monetary value where possible, and computed the net present value over five years. We looked at net benefits or costs from multiple perspectives: the state, the district, the school, the teacher, and the student. The total of all these represents the net benefit or cost to society.calculated the measured benefits, assigning them a monetary value where possible, and computed the net present value over five years. We looked at net benefits or costs from multiple perspectives: the state, the district, the school, the teacher, and the student. The total of all these represents the net benefit or cost to society.

Teacher Induction in Kansas City: State Policy, District Trends, and Their Implications

July 1, 2007

Analyzes findings from a study of teacher induction policy in the Kansas City metropolitan area and illustrates the effects of these policies on district practices governing mentoring, professional development, and new teacher support programs.

Teacher Induction in the Midwest: Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio: Implications for State Policy

February 22, 2006

Increased interest in new teacher support has led to the rapid expansion of state level induction policy. Given the nationwide increase in availability and quality of new teacher induction, we sought to examine induction policy and program evolution in three states: Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio. This brief summary presents the findings of our study, which explored varieties of teacher induction within and across states. We examined the evolution of policy and programs, current efforts, descriptions of what respondents considered desirable, perceived barriers between current efforts and desired programs, and the conceptions of the states' roles in orchestrating teacher induction. We present implications intended to influence states toward developing induction policy that 1) illustrates clear goals for induction, 2) supplies districts with knowledge of effective induction programs, 3) provides strategies for ensuring equitable distribution of resources across student populations and communities, and 4) develops protocols for induction program evaluation.

Does New Teacher Support Affect Student Achievement? Some Early Research Findings

February 13, 2006

We understand the importance of having qualified, effective teachers in every classroom. We have learned from many research studies, particularly those of William Sanders and his colleagues in Tennessee, that students who are taught by effective teachers (defined by Sanders as those whose students consistently post gains in student achievement scores) for several years in a row will experience the benefits throughout the rest of their school careers and beyond. After three years with the most effective teachers, students show achievement gains significantly higher than those of students with the least effective teachers.We can reasonably hypothesize that more experienced teachers will exceed the effectiveness of recently inducted beginning teachers. Further, as is now widely recognized in most states, new teachers need and benefit from support during their induction period. Support during the new teachers' first year or two may be just as important to their effectiveness as their pre-service training, their state certification, and their subject matter skills. To justify assigning resources to provide support for novice teachers, legislators and school district administrators need to be convinced that such support is associated with educational outcomes beyond participant satisfaction. Researchers have shown that induction and mentoring programs may have a positive effect on teacher retention. However, few studies demonstrate any connection between new teacher induction and student achievement, the outcome that is probably of most interest to parents, educators, and legislators. Perhaps the main reason for this is that such studies are diffi cult to conduct. First, it is hard to obtain the necessary data. Many schools and districts do not maintain databases connecting student test scores to teachers. Many states do not test students in all grade levels annually, and tests are changed frequently, making it diffi cult to compare performance from year to year. Also, induction programs vary, and many factors contribute to changes in student achievement besides the kinds of support beginning teachers receive. These include school variables, family, economic status, and social issues; other kinds of support such as teacher aides, subject-matter specialists, tutoring; teaching to the test; language issues; and students' health and mood at the time of the testing. Finally, not all educators agree on the validity of using standardized test scores to measure student learning.Imposing an experimental design on treatment and subjects would address all of these issues, except the last. However, the most challenging aspect of this field is often securing access to a suitable control or comparison group of any sort, much less one meeting the standards of an experimental design. These dilemmas force compromises that can make interpretation more difficult.

Mentoring New Teachers to Increase Retention: A Look at the Research

November 28, 2005

In recent years the demand for new teachers across the nation has risen steeply. Demographic factors (such as the baby boom echo) and legislative policies (such as class size reduction) have resulted in the increased need for new teachers, while promising young graduates are often discouraged from entering the profession by low salaries and poor earnings opportunities. Many districts attempt to fill shortages by hiring non-credentialed teachers, who, if they are interns attending a credentialing program, are considered "highly qualified" under the terms of NCLB. Under-qualified and least-experienced teachers are often assigned the most difficult classes, and tend to be concentrated in special education, urban schools, and in schools serving students who are poor, minorities, and English learners. Factors such as these lead to high rates of attrition among practicing teachers, lending some educators to suggest we have a teacher retention problem rather than a teacher shortage problem.High attrition rates have negative effects on student achievement. This is exacerbated by the fact that schools with large numbers of poor and minority pupils have more trouble retaining teachers and the most difficulty attracting new applicants for teaching positions. The continual flight of teachers from these schools creates burdensome extra costs to the district. Hiring and professional development are direct costs, increased instability in the school culture represents an indirect cost.