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Evaluation of the Retired Mentors for New Teachers Program


Description: District leaders and chief state school officers in the Central Region are interested in expanding teacher mentoring in high-need schools. Student achievement continues to lag in high-poverty schools, large numbers of teachers are expected to retire in the near future, and state and district budget shortfalls continue to preclude many districts from undertaking more expensive approaches to supporting their teachers. This study involves a randomized controlled trial of the Retired Mentors for New Teachers program for probationary teachers developed by Aurora Public Schools (APS) in Aurora Colorado. The program uses recently retired, master educators to support probationary teachers in high-need elementary schools. Data sources will include student reading and math assessments, teacher turnover data, and teacher evaluation data.

Research Questions:

  1. What is the impact of the Retired Mentors for New Teachers program on elementary students' reading and math assessments?
  2. Does being a member of the treatment group in the Retired Mentors for New Teacher program impact teacher turnover?
  3. Does being a member of the treatment group impact principal evaluations of teachers?

Study Design: The intervention's effectiveness will be assessed in a pool of 10–15 elementary schools with enrollments that include 50 percent or more of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Probationary teachers within these schools will be randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions. The study will include both an implementation analysis to measure fidelity to program design, and an impact analysis which includes confirmatory impact questions addressing student performance in reading and math and two exploratory questions addressing teacher turnover and teacher evaluations. Data collection will include analysis of student performance on fall and spring reading and math assessments as well as district data on teacher turnover and evaluation ratings over a two-year period.

Projected Release Date: Winter 2013

Research Alliance: Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance (Teacher Mentoring Workgroup), REL Central

Keywords: Professional development; coaching/mentoring; educator recruitment, mobility, and attrition; teacher evaluation.

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