Professional Development

Intensive Induction Boosts Achievement, IES Study Says

By Stephen Sawchuk — June 28, 2010 1 min read

That’s the bottom line of this new study out from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. It’s an important study because the experimental design allows us to conclude that it was the intensive, two-year structured mentoring that “treatment” teachers received—and not some other factor—that led to these boosts.

But what’s more striking is that this is the third-year report of an ongoing study, and neither of the first two years of study found any effect on student achievement. In fact, this year of study occurred after all the “treatment” schools no longer received the intensive support.

That leaves us with this perplexing question: Why did it take so long for the effects to show up? Does it, perhaps, take a while for teachers to emulate the good teaching practices they see during the induction years?

Overall, this is good news for induction programs, but there is a caveat: The report found that the programs are having “no effect” in keeping these teachers in their districts or in the professional longer.

Teachers may be more effective with this support, but they’re not sticking around any longer, and that raises some real cost-benefit questions.

Check back soon at edweek.org for a full writeup.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.