The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Kansas requires that all new teachers receive mentoring. The state's two-year mentoring program for new teachers requires mentors to meet the following criteria: 1) completion of at least three consecutive schools years of employment in the same school district, 2) selection by the board on the basis of demonstrating exemplary teaching ability, and 3) participation and successful completion of a mentor training program.
Mentors of first-year teachers are paid $1,000; mentors of second-year teachers will receive a stipend in the range of $300-$500. Mentors must participate in on-going training and are expected to observe new teachers in the classroom. There are evaluations to assess the effectiveness of the mentor program.
Guidelines for the Mentor Teacher Program 2009-2010 http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=hefP3bMqPT0%3d&tabid=2067 Regulations for the Mentor Teacher Program 2009-2010 http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Pg6ZM6DdWSc%3d&tabid=2067 Kansas Policies Mentor Teacher Program 2010-2011 http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=dQfQEnZSmbs%3d&tabid=2067
Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Kansas should articulate minimum guidelines for a high-quality induction experience. The state should require that mentors spend sufficient time with new teachers, especially in the first critical weeks of school.
Kansas noted that the state legislature has removed this money from the budget for the 2011-2012 school year.
NCTQ appreciates the state's candor. The analysis is based on what has been authorized.