Mentoring Programs for New Teachers Highlighted in Study

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 20, 2006

More money helps, but the study shows programs to encourage new teachers are keeping them on the job.  The Public Policy Institute of California found that the statewide Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment or “BTSA” program improved teacher retention by 26-percent. Debbie Pitta oversees that program for Placer County.  She says young teachers need a mentor. 

 “You don’t usually go to your principal, because then you’re actually saying to your principal ‘I’m not good’ and that’s the person who evaluates you and keeps you in your job, so with the BTSA program you have a mentor who says ‘how’s it going’…” 

The PPIC study examined teacher retention rates through the 1990’s and found that twenty-two percent left the profession by the end of their fourth year.   

The study also found providing around four-thousand dollars more in annual pay reduced the probability that a new teacher would leave by 17-percent.