2011 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Alaska does not require a mentoring program or other induction support for all of its new teachers, although it does require mentoring for new teachers in intervention districts. The state also offers a voluntary Alaska Statewide Mentor Project for its new teachers in participating districts. The mentors are teachers with extensive classroom experience who receive formal training in eight three-day Mentor Academy sessions held over two years.
Alaska Statewide Mentor Project http://www.alaskamentorproject.org Alaska State System of Support for Districts and Schools http://www.eed.state.ak.us/nclb/pdf/SSOS_OperationsManual.pdf 2010-2011 School Improvement Plan Submission Packet http://www.eed.state.ak.us/forms/home.cfm
Ensure that a high-quality mentoring experience is available to all new teachers, especially those in low-performing schools.
Although Alaska does provide mentoring to teachers in its intervention districts, the state should ensure that all new teachers—especially any teacher in a low-performing school—receive mentoring support, especially in the first critical weeks of school. Alaska should consider expanding its program throughout the state.
Set more specific parameters.
To ensure that all teachers receive high-quality mentoring, the state should specify how long the program lasts for a new teacher, who selects the mentors and a method of performance evaluation.
Require induction strategies that can be successfully implemented, even in poorly managed schools.
To ensure that the experience is meaningful, Alaska should guarantee that induction includes strategies such as intensive mentoring, seminars appropriate to grade level or subject area and a reduced teaching load and/or frequent release time to observe other teachers.
Alaska recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.