2011 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Colorado requires that all new teachers participate in an induction program and receive mentoring. The induction program lasts for three years, with mentoring occurring during the first year only.
The state mandates that local districts are responsible for developing policies to address the "standards for selection, training and release of mentors" as well as methods to evaluate and assess the induction program. The district must establish the "primary role of the mentor as teacher, coach, advocate, support, guide and nurturer of new teachers." Mentor teachers must have demonstrated expertise in a variety of educational experiences. Induction programs should provide both mentors and new teachers opportunities for professional growth and development. Mentors are paid an annual stipend, and this amount is determined by the district. The state provides guidelines for assignment of mentors, including similar teaching assignments, close proximity and similar teaching styles. The state requires each induction program to conduct a self-evaluation every five years.
Code of Colorado Regulations 22.60.5-R.1300 FAQs for New Teachers and Service Providers http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/cdeprofsvc/download/pdf/FAQsNT_SP.pdf
Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Colorado should articulate minimum guidelines for a high-quality induction experience. The state should ensure that new teachers receive support during the critical first few weeks of school and that the mentors' performance is evaluated.
Colorado recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.