Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a five-year, $10.3 million contract to Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and its subcontractors, Learning Point Associates and the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania, to carry out a rigorous evaluation of the impact of teacher induction programs.
In Tapping the Potential: Retaining and Developing High-Quality New Teachers, the Alliance for Excellent Education called for a comprehensive induction program2 for every new teacher, especially in high-need schools, and featured case studies of four successful induction programs. The report noted that research demonstrates that comprehensive induction cuts attrition rates in half. In addition, comprehensive induction helps to develop novice teachers more rapidly into high-quality professionals who improve student achievement. Moreover, induction has shown to create a payoff of $1.37 for each $1 invested.
In its press release, Mathematica notes that induction programs are being implemented with “tremendous variability in schools across the country at a rapid rate.” However, it notes, evidence of their effectiveness in improving teacher retention and classroom instruction is limited. As part of the study, Mathematica will examine a single high-intensity teacher induction model that will be implemented in twenty large high-poverty districts around the country.
Schools in participating districts will be randomly assigned to either implement the new model or will continue with whatever form of teacher induction they currently provide. Researchers will then examine whether teachers who receive the high-intensity model remain in teaching at significantly higher rates and whether their classroom instruction is better when compared to teachers in the control group. Following their initial year of teaching and participation in the induction program, teachers will be tracked for three additional years. While Mathematica will select the teacher induction model in the 2004-05 school year, it will not be implemented in school districts until the 2005-06 school year.
As part of the study, the research team has issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking strong induction program models to be considered for selection as the featured model. Organizations, including school districts, that currently offer a strong teacher induction program and want to be considered as the model for the study should submit an application by November 15, 2004. Additional information and details about submitting a proposal are available at
Tapping the Potential: Retaining and Developing High-Quality New Teachers is available athttps://all4ed.org/publication_material/reports/tapping_potential.
1 – The ACT College Readiness Benchmarks represent the “level of achievement required for students to have a high probability of success (a 75 percent chance of earning a course grade of ‘C’ or better, a 50 percent chance of earning a ‘B’ or better) in such credit-bearing college courses as English composition, algebra, and biology.”
2 – The Alliance defines “comprehensive induction” as a combination of mentoring, professional development and support, and formal assessments for new teachers during at least their first two years of teaching.