The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
South Dakota does not require a mentoring program or any other induction support for its new teachers. The state allows each local district to determine whether it will require new teachers to participate in a mentoring program. If so, the mentoring teacher must have at least five years' teaching experience.
Ensure that a high-quality mentoring experience is available to all new teachers, especially those in low-performing schools.
South Dakota should ensure that all new teachers—and especially any teacher in a low-performing school—receive mentoring support, especially in the first critical weeks of school.
Set specific parameters.
To ensure that all teachers receive high quality mentoring, the state should specify how long the program lasts for a new teacher, who selects the mentors and a method of performance evaluation. Mentors should be required to be trained in a content area or grade level similar to that of the new teacher.
Require induction strategies that can be successfully implemented, even in poorly managed schools.
To ensure that the experience is meaningful, South Dakota 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.
South Dakota recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.