v17_2006e - Do Mentoring and Induction Programs Have...

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61 Do Mentoring and Induction Programs Have Greater Bene f ts for Teachers Who Lack Preservice Training? 4 D O M ENTORING AND I NDUCTION P ROGRAMS H AVE G REATER B ENEFITS FOR T EACHERS W HO L ACK P RESERVICE T RAINING ? Laura Duke Adam Karson Justin Wheeler The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of mentoring and induction programs on teacher retention, as measured by teachers’ commitment to their profession. Using data from the 1999-2000 Schools and StafF ng Survey, we perform logistic regression analyses to model the effect of induction and its dif- ferent components on teacher commitment, and compare the marginal impact of induction programs on teachers with and without degrees in education. Our results show that teachers who have had mentors or gone through induction programs in their F rst year of teaching are more likely to be committed to the teaching profession. Moreover, mentoring and induction programs have a greater marginal beneF t for teachers without education degrees than for those with education degrees. Based on our results, we recommend that districts (1) provide men- toring and induction programs for all teachers, and (2) allow school-level ± exibility in tailoring induction and mentoring programs. 1 I NTRODUCTION In the landmark No Child Left Behind school accountability legislation, Laura Duke, Adam Karson and Justin Wheeler are Master in Public Policy candidates at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University (laura.duke@duke. edu, adam.karson@duke.edu, justin.wheeler@duke.edu).
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62 Laura Duke, Adam Karson, Justin Wheeler the U.S. government acknowledged the importance of “highly qualiF ed” teachers in promoting high student achievement. As teachers from the baby boom generation begin to retire, schools must F nd new teachers to F ll these vacancies. Unfortunately, over the last decade, new teachers (i.e., those with fewer than four years of full-time teaching experience) are more likely to leave teaching or move to another school than any other experi- ence level (Tabs 2004, 9). Many cite lack of support or poor preparation as justiF cations for leaving their current teaching positions. This turnover costs schools and teacher preparation programs time and money as they continually must F nd and prepare new educators. Some schools and districts attempt to stem the tide of new teacher attrition through comprehensive induction programs that include mentoring. These programs seek to ad- dress the support and preparation issues cited by departing teachers as the cause of their dissatisfaction. In the 1999-2000 school year, approximately 232,000 individuals en- tered the teaching profession. One year later, about 287,000 teachers left the occupation, the majority of them far short of retirement age (Ingersoll 2003). In part because of the necessity created by these unprecedented classroom vacancies, many school systems have established “emergency” or “alternative” certiF cation programs designed to place participants in the classroom as soon as possible. Unlike traditional education degree programs
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v17_2006e - Do Mentoring and Induction Programs Have...

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