Mentoring programs for new teachers can save districts as much as $1 million over a five-year period because they increase teacher retention rates, according to a return-on-investment analysis of the New Teacher Center’s work in Chicago Public Schools.
Conducted by Metis Associates, a New York City-based research and consulting firm, the calculations also show such support for novice teachers results in additional learning gains for students compared to a control group and could lead to as much as $38,000 in greater lifetime earnings for those students.
The authors also predict long-term returns for school districts as former students pay more in taxes to fund public education. Additional research, they write, is needed on “the value of the changes in school culture and teacher satisfaction, without which, the returns shown here would probably not be possible.”
The report is a follow up to an independent evaluation of NTC’s work in CPS and the Broward County Public Schools in Florida. Funded with a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) “validation” grant, the study “showed positive impacts in both [English language arts] and mathematics for students in grades 4–8.”
Those results led NTC, based in Santa Cruz, California, to “wonder if their model could offer a positive return on investment for the school districts with which they work,” the report says. Those results were also interesting, considering that an evaluation of the i3 funding overall showed few programs receiving those grant funds increased student achievement.
The authors note the findings from Chicago — where black and Latino students are far more likely to be assigned a beginning teacher — also have implications for how districts support those teachers. That’s the point that Jessica Cardichon, director of federal policy for the Learning Policy Institute, made last week regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s proposal to drop questions about first- and second-year teachers from the Civil Rights Data Collection.
Past results from that data, the NTC report says, show black students were about four times as likely as white students to have a first-year teacher. Latino students were three times as likely.