Teachers who received two years of comprehensive induction services boosted student scores in reading and math more than teachers in a comparison group who didn’t receive the support, a study by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences finds.
Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, a Princeton, N.J.-based evaluation firm, the study compares outcomes for teachers who received comprehensive induction provided by trained mentors with those who received typical novice-teacher supports provided by their district.
Comprehensive induction programs take a more-structured approach to new-teacher support and include a careful selection of teacher mentors, formative assessments to gauge teacher progress, and release time for mentors to observe their charges and provide feedback on their instruction.
According to the study, after the two years, such programs led to statistically significant improvements on student test scores in both reading and mathematics. Earlier iterations of the study had found that, in the first two years, induction programs had no effect on scores.
A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2010 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook