Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Michigan requires that all new teachers receive mentoring. The state mandates mentors for all beginning teachers throughout the first three years of their employment. New teachers are also required to participate in at least 15 days of professional development as well as regional seminars conducted by master teachers and other mentors.
In addition, the Michigan Department of Education has developed "Advocating Strong Standards-based Induction Support for Teachers" (ASSIST) website to provide guidelines for developing mentor programs. Key steps include: selection criteria and process for mentor teachers, mentor and new teacher matches, training and support and mentor program evaluation.
Michigan Revised School Code Act 45 of 1976 Michigan ASSIST Beginning Teachers http://assist.educ.msu.edu/ASSIST/assisthomeset/suppose.htm Key Steps for Successful Mentor Program http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-6530_5683_5703—-,00.htm
Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Michigan should articulate minimum guidelines for a high-quality induction experience. For example, the state should set a timeline in which mentors are assigned to all new teachers throughout the state, soon after the commencing of teaching, to offer support during those critical first weeks of school. Mentors should be required to be trained in a content area or grade level similar to that of new teachers, and the state should also offer specifics on release time or reducing teaching responsibilities. To attract the most qualified participants to the mentor program, guaranteed compensation is a wise inclusion.
Michigan recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.