Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Mississippi requires that all new teachers receive mentoring. The state mandates that all new teachers are assigned a mentor and allows the "selection, nature and extent of duties of mentor teachers" to be determined by the school district. However, Mississippi requires that the mentor program include "beginning teacher and mentor teacher consultations and observations, orientation sessions, and professional development training, which should include classroom discipline and/or management training" as well as a minimum of 90 hours of contact between mentors and new teachers. Mentors must have at least three years of teaching experience and also must successfully complete an approved training program. Starting in the 2008-2009 school year, mentors receive $1,000 for each new teacher (up to two) they are assigned. A district may also grant release time for additional duties.
Mississippi Statute 37-9-201 through 37-9-211 Teacher Mentor Orientation http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/
Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Mississippi should articulate minimum guidelines for a high-quality induction experience. Mentors should be required to be trained in the content area or grade level similar to that of the new teacher. The state should set a timeline in which mentors are assigned to all new teachers to offer support during the critical first weeks of school and should mandate methods of performance evaluation.
Mississippi recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.