Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Utah requires that all new teachers receive mentoring. New teachers are required to participate in a mentoring program in which the principal assigns a mentor within the first semester of teaching who "performs substantially the same duties" as the new teacher. Mentors must "provide moral and emotional support" and arrange for observation opportunities and meetings to share strategies and teaching methods. Mentors must also have at least three years' experience and are expected to help new teachers "become effective and competent in the teaching profession and school system." Mentors must complete a training program, including ongoing professional development.
Utah Administrative Code R277-522-3
Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Utah should articulate minimum guidelines for a high-quality induction experience. The state should require a timeline in which mentors are assigned to all new teachers, ideally soon after the commencing of teaching, to offer support during those first critical weeks of school. It should also mandate a method for performance evaluation.
Utah recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.