Induction: Maryland

Retaining Effective Teachers Policy


The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.

Nearly meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Induction: Maryland results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Maryland's policies

Maryland requires that all new teachers receive mentoring. The state requires that each local school system design a program incorporating components established by the state, including: an orientation program for new teachers prior to the start of the school year, mentor support such as regularly scheduled meetings during non-instructional time, opportunities for new teachers to observe and co-teach with skilled teachers with follow-up discussion of the experiences, ongoing professional learning activities, and ongoing formative review of new teacher performance such as classroom observation. 

Local school systems are encouraged, but not required, to provide a reduction in teaching schedule during induction. All teachers must participate in induction activities for a minimum of one year. The maximum ratio of mentors to mentees is one mentor to 15 mentees. Mentors should have the following skills: knowledge of adult learning theory and peer coaching techniques, the knowledge base and skill to address performance evaluation criteria and outcomes to be met by each mentee, an advanced professional certificate or be retired from the local school system, a positive reference from principal or supervisor. Local school systems will evaluate their teacher induction program.


Recommendations for Maryland

Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Maryland 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. It should also require mentors to be trained in a content area or grade level similar to that of the new teacher.

State response to our analysis

Maryland noted that specific criteria are in place for development of induction programs. The state requires orientation for all teachers new to the local system; ongoing support from a mentor, including regularly scheduled meetings during non-instructional time, co-teaching opportunities, an ongoing professional development, and ongoing formative review of new teacher performance.

Research rationale

Although many states have induction policies, the overall support for new teachers in the United States is fragmented due to wide variation in legislation, policy and type of support available. There are a number of good sources describing the more systematic induction models used in high-performing countries:

Teachers Matter: Attracting Retaining and Developing Teachers, a 2005 publication by the OECD, examines (among many other factors) the role that induction plays for developing the quality of the teaching force in 25 countries. For shorter synopses, consult Lynn Olson, "Teaching Policy to Improve Student Learning: Lessons from Abroad," 2007.

Educational Testing Service's Preparing Teachers Around the World (2003) examines reasons why seven countries perform better than the United States on the TIMS and includes induction models in its analysis.

Domestically, evidence of the impact of teacher induction in improving the retention and performance of first-year teachers is growing. See Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Results from the Second Year of a Randomized Controlled Study. National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Department of Education (2009).

A California study found that a good induction program, including mentoring, was generally more effective in keeping teachers on the job than better pay. See Deborah Reed, et al., "Retention of New Teachers in California," Public Policy Institute of California, 2006.

Descriptive qualitative papers provide some information on the nature of mentoring and other induction activities and may improve understanding of the causal mechanisms by which induction may lead to improved teacher practices and better retention. A report from the Alliance for Excellent Education presents four case studies on induction models that it found to be effective. See Tapping the Potential: Retaining and Developing High-Quality New Teachers, Alliance for Excellent Education at:

For evidence of the importance of high quality mentors, see C. Carver and S. Feiman-Nemser, "Using Policy to Improve Teacher Induction: Critical Elements and Missing Pieces."  Educational Policy v23 (2009) as well as K. Jackson and E. Bruegmann in "Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other:  The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers." American Economic Journal (2009).See also Harry Wong, "Induction Programs that Keep New Teachers Teaching and Improving," NASSP Bulletin, 2004; 87(638): 5-27.

For a further review of the research on new teacher induction see Lopez, et al., "Review of Research on the Impact of Beginning Teacher Induction on Teacher Quality and Retention," ED Contract ED-01-CO-0059/0004, SRI International, 2004. 

The issue of high turnover in teachers' early years particularly plagues schools that serve poor children and children of color. Much of the focus of concern about this issue has been on urban schools, but rural schools that serve poor communities also suffer from high turnover of new teachers.

Research on the uneven distribution of teachers (in terms of teacher quality) suggests that, indeed, a good portion of the so-called "achievement gap" may be attributable to what might be thought of as a "teaching gap," reported by many including L. Feng and T. Sass, "Teacher Quality and Teacher Mobility." National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (2011); T. Sass et al, "Value Added of Teachers in High-Poverty Schools and Lower-Poverty Schools." CALDER Institute (2010) and C.T. Clotfelter, et al., "Who Teaches Whom? Race and Distribution of Novice Teachers," presented at the American Economic Association Meetings, Atlanta, 2002.
See also Bradford R. White, et al., "Leveling Up: Narrowing the Teacher Academic Capital Gap in Illinois," Illinois Research Council, June 2008.