State Education Board wants mentoring
and induction for novice teachers
Early support helps retain teachers, saves local districts money – McGee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR INFORMATION, CALL
October 23, 2000 (217) 782-4648 or (312) 814-3490
Springfield – New teachers would receive
special assistance in their first three years on the job when such support is
most needed, under an induction and mentoring program proposed by the State
Board of Education.
The State Board at its regular monthly
meeting voted to seek legislation and funding to implement a three-year program
with actual induction, mentoring and other appropriate support starting in fall
The proposed program would cost about $48
million for all four years of initial implementation. That figure includes $5
million for one year of planning and training of mentors and local
administrators in the 2001-2002 school year. Once fully implemented, State
Board officials do not expect the program to cost more than $20 million a year.
Each new teacher would receive three full years of induction, mentoring and
If approved by the General Assembly, the
program could also save local school districts millions of dollars spent
annually searching for and replacing teachers who leave the job after only a
“Teachers have the most direct, critical
impact on our students,” said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee.
“To ensure that Illinois education is
truly Second to None, we must keep the best teachers in our classrooms.
To do that, we must do everything we can to support our teachers in their
first, crucial years,” he said.
“We strongly believe that an induction and
mentoring program will help us retain quality teachers and retain them in the
districts where they are most needed.”
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The first years of teaching are often the
most difficult and harrowing, according to teachers. One in five Illinois
teachers leave the job in their first three years, including about 13 percent
between their first and second years, State Board research shows.
Mentoring and induction programs can
significantly reduce the number of teachers who leave the profession in the
first several years on the job, according to several national studies.
Research also clearly shows that early
mentoring improves teacher effectiveness, and that increased teacher
effectiveness leads to higher student achievement.
Studies show that school districts
nationwide spend between $4,000 and $50,000 to replace each new teacher lost.
Using the $4,000 figure – which experts caution is very conservative – an
effective induction and mentoring program could save Illinois school districts
about $10 million annually.
The proposed induction and mentoring
program would cost the state about $2,250 per new teacher over the three-year
period -- $1,000 the first year, $750 the second year and $500 the third year.
State Board officials project about 8,500
new teachers will start teaching in the 2002-2003 school year, when the
mentoring program would actually start. To save money and to evaluate the
program’s effectiveness, the State Board decided that only first-year teachers
would participate the program’s first year.
The State Board’s proposed plan would
require local school districts to develop and implement a three-year induction
and mentoring program to be incorporated into the local school improvement
The first two years, local districts would
provide mentoring, resource development, classroom management skills and other
support to the novice teacher. The State Board, in cooperation with local
districts and higher education, would develop opportunities for deeper study in
content and instructional techniques.
The second year would also include
training in the development of a portfolio -- an important, mandatory component
aimed at encouraging personal and professional reflection and assessment. In
their third year, teachers would work on completing their portfolios.