2011 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Illinois provides a mentoring program for some of its new teachers. This program is offered by a single district or two or more school districts with approval from the Illinois State Board of Education in consultation with the State Teacher Certification Board. Schools may receive up to $1,200 for each new teacher provided its plan assigns a mentor teacher to each new teacher for at least two years and aligns with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards' content area standards and any applicable local school improvement and development plans. Participating schools must have a plan addressing the details of the teacher-mentor relationship.
Induction and Mentoring Programs http://www.isbe.state.il.us/certification/pdf/induction_mentoring.pdf New Teacher Induction and Mentoring http://www.isbe.net/rules/archive/pdfs/65ARK.pdf
Ensure that a high-quality mentoring experience is available to all new teachers, especially those in low-performing schools.
Although Illinois does provide mentoring to some of its new teachers, 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. Illinois 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 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, Illinois 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.
Illinois stated that this requirement is based on funding being available. When funding has not been available, grants were given to districts, ROEs, and other entities working to provide induction and mentoring. The number of grants depended on the money available. Through the grant process Illinois developed standards for mentoring programs. Funding was not provided for the FY 2012 year. The state is still trying to support induction and mentoring through technical support as much as possible.