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IES Releases Big Study on Comprehensive Induction

The Institute of Education Sciences has quietly released a study that's almost guaranteed to cause a lot of chatter if not outright controversy in the eduworld.

According to the study, the two comprehensive programs studied in their first year—one from the Princeton, N.J.-based ETS and one from the New Teacher Center, in Santa Cruz, Calif.—did not improve student achievement, rates of teacher rentention, or teacher practices.

Comprehensive induction programs, unlike the informal, often unfunded "buddy systems" common to districts, provide training for mentors, support "release time" for teachers and mentors to meet on a weekly basis, and faciliate the improvement of teaching skills linked to improved student achievement, such as differentiated instruction, classroom management, pedagogy, and so forth.

The caveat: There's some limited cost-benefit evidence to suggest that these programs' effects are only felt after two or even three years. The study in question only covers year one of implementation. (Other IES studies will analyze results from a subset of schools that got a second year of comprehensive induction.)

Check back later at www.edweek.org for a full story and some reaction from the field.

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