Entry-Level Teacher Support Programs

Published on November 18th, 2011

Summary

There are approximately 10,000 new teachers hired each year by schools in New York State.  Regulations of the NYS Board of Regents require new teachers to complete a mentored experience within their first year of employment as a teacher in order to obtain their professional certificate.  Support programs for beginning teachers, including mentoring, will improve teacher retention rates and improve instruction and learning by enhancing teacher quality.  Such program should be enacted to support all new teachers thereby supporting all students.

Objective

To ensure all schools have the funding needed to assist all beginning teachers in meeting the new mentoring requirements required for their certification and to provide the needed support and skill development for entry-level teachers

Rationale

A significant number of teachers, ranging from 30%-50% leave the teaching profession, most of whom depart within their first three years.  Like any individual new to a profession, beginning teachers face considerable challenges.  Moreover, students taught by teachers with greater experience and professional training have higher achievement rates than students of less qualified teachers.

The NYS Board of Regents’ regulations require, among other expectations, that new teachers obtain a mentored experience within their first year of employment in order to obtain their professional certificate.  State Education Department guidelines affirm that “the purpose of the mentoring experience is to improve skill and retention of new teachers as they transition from academic preparation to their first professional appointment.”   The mentoring requirement applies to all new teachers seeking their professional certificate regardless of the whether they are employed by a public, independent or religious school.

New York State’s religious, independent and private schools enroll nearly 500,000 students, comprising approximately 15 percent of the state’s school children and employ some 42,000 classroom teachers.  Most new teachers employed by religious or independent schools have obtained an initial certificate and are pursuing their professional certificate.

It is incumbent upon the state to empower all new teachers, regardless of where they are employed, to meet these new requirements.  The states of Indiana and Kentucky have entry-level teachers support programs that benefit public and independent / religious schools alike.

We urge the Governor and state lawmakers to remain cognizant of the needs of children in all schools by adopting a program to support all new teachers in a way that benefits all children.

You can download this document, Entry-Level Teacher Support Programs, in PDF form.

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