New Teacher Center

Case study snapshot

The challenge
With an ageing teacher workforce, it’s never been more likely for a class of students in the USA to be taught by an early career teacher. However, many early career teachers do not receive adequate support, so attrition rates remain high.

The response
New Teacher Center is an international non-profit organisation from the USA that’s improving student outcomes by accelerating the effectiveness of early career teachers. New Teacher Center works at all levels of the education system to implement quality mentoring and induction programs.

The takeaways
Quality mentoring and induction programs improve early career teacher effectiveness, which can lead to better student outcomes.


New Teacher Center (NTC) works to effect systemic change to better support and develop effective early career teachers (new teachers). NTC is a non-profit organisation based in the USA, and has extended its services internationally. The mission of NTC is to ‘improve student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers and school leaders1. It achieves this mission by working with all levels of the education system (schools, districts, states, and federal) to implement mentoring and induction programs.

The NTC program was founded in 1998 by the current CEO Ellen Moir and her associates at the University of California at Santa Cruz. As Head of Teacher Education, Ellen observed the constant difficulties faced by graduating teachers once placed in the classroom. In response, Ellen started an in-service professional learning program run by the university for graduates within the local school districts. The success of this program was noted by districts further afield and quickly expanded.

In 2009, NTC was established as an independent non-profit in order to attract philanthropic funding. This additional source of funding has enabled NTC to scale. Over 2012-2013, NTC had prepared over 5,700 mentors to improve the effectiveness of over 23,000 new teachers. This scale has directly impacted the learning of 1.6 million US students.2 In addition to expanding to the majority of states in the USA, NTC has operated in Canada, Scotland, and currently assists the Ministry of Education in Singapore to deliver a national new teacher mentoring program.

The NTC model generates its revenue through fee-for-service contracts and philanthropic funding. Over half of the NTC revenue comes from contracts with school districts and state organisations. In exchange, NTC assists these school districts and state organisations to:

  • Define induction infrastructure;
  • Manage on-the-ground and online induction programs;
  • Deliver professional development;
  • Develop school leadership capacity;
  • Analyse school teaching and learning conditions.

This process is conducted in collaboration with state and local leaders to ensure program relevancy and sustainability.

The significant expansion of NTC is a testament to the organisation’s approach and reflects the changing context of education in the USA. Jane Barker, Director of Communications at NTC, explained the current demographic shift of an ageing teacher workforce in the USA:

With the baby boomer population of teachers progressively coming into retirement, it’s more likely that there will now be a new (early career) teacher in front of any classroom than a teacher from any other experience level. This is disproportionately the case in disadvantaged schools3′

These demographic circumstances are not dis-similar to the Australian context. Early career teachers (ECTs) in Australia are most likely to teach in low SES schools4, and Australia also faces an ageing teacher workforce.5 The lessons from NTC are therefore very relevant to our national education system.

 


1 http://www.newteachercenter.org/about-ntc
2 http://www.newteachercenter.org/impact/ntc-report-card
3 Ingersol, R. & Merrill, L. (2010) The Changing Face of the Teaching Force. http://www.gse.upenn.edu/news/faculty/faculty-experts-changing-face-teaching-force
4 McKenzie, P., Rowley, G., Weldon, P. & Murphy, M. (2011). Staff in Australia’s Schools 2010: Main Report on the Survey. Australian Council for Educational Research.
5 http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/116651/schools-workforce.pdf page 61.