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Thursday, November 3, 2011
DoE Announces Mentoring Program for New Teachers
By News Release @ 2:17 AM :: 5376 Views :: Energy, Environment

 

“Gold Standard” Support for Hawaii’s Novice Teachers

News Release from Hawaii DoE

The Hawaii State Department of Education today released its new Hawaii Teacher Induction Program Standards, an important deliverable of the state’s Race to the Top plan that will provide greater support for novice teachers.

“Teachers are the single most important factor in determining student success,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our goal is to have every beginning teacher working with a highly skilled instructional mentor to improve their craft. This critical investment in induction will help us to retain quality teachers and offer leadership roles to veteran teachers.”

Hawaii’s comprehensive three-year induction program will engage beginning teachers in a system of support to accelerate teacher effectiveness and student learning. The program will also build collaborative learning communities for all educators and provide excellent teachers the opportunity to develop into educational leaders. Currently, approximately 3,600, or 33 percent, of Hawaii’s teacher workforce are novices with zero to three years in the profession. For many novices, the learning curve is steep.

High quality induction and mentoring programs help beginning teachers to accelerate their development into effective veteran teachers. Thus, the implementation of teacher induction standards comes at a critical time as states across the country are coping with an increasing exodus of educators from the classroom. According to the DOE Office of Human Resources, 56 percent of Hawaii’s public school teachers left the profession within their first five years of teaching at an annual cost between $4 million and $29 million to the DOE.

Until recently, all fifteen complex area superintendents have been responsible for developing and running complex area induction and mentoring programs. A 2008 University of California at Santa Cruz study by Dr. Lisa Johnson titled, “Teacher Induction in the State of Hawaii: Current Efforts, Best Practices and Future Steps,” concluded “there is a patchwork of programs and efforts, some better conceived and some more effective than others” in Hawaii’s public school system. As part of its Race to the Top plan, the new induction standards represent the DOE’s effort to replicate the best components of current complex area programs and establish a common, high bar for quality.

Some examples of the new induction standards include:

  • All teachers in their first two years must be provided with intensive mentoring, with services available for teachers in their third year as requested.
  • The ratio of beginning teachers to mentors cannot exceed 15:1.
  • All beginning teachers will have a professional growth plan that addresses specific skills and content gaps.
  • All mentors will receive extensive research-based training in how to be an effective instructional coach.

A Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani complex area induction program participant shared, “[t]he most beneficial aspect was having a senior teacher meet with me every week face-to-face to discuss the challenges I'd been having and getting immediate and quick feedback from her. I really appreciated the times she was able to come in to observe me and give me feedback about how my lesson went.”

Complex area superintendents must ensure current complex induction programs align to the new standards. Complex areas will receive a total of $3 million in federal Title II monies to support plan execution. An additional $3 million of federal Race to the Top funds will go towards mentor training and program quality monitoring.

By the end of school year 2012-13, a consistent system-wide induction and mentoring program tailored to the unique needs of schools and complex areas will accelerate teacher efficacy and increase student learning and growth.

Visit www.hawaiidoereform.org to learn more about the Hawaii Teacher Induction Program Standards.

-DOE-

Hawaii Teacher Induction Program Standards: LINK

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