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Aug-20-2007 12:39printcomments

Devlin Joins Governor in Promoting Teacher Mentoring

Devlin says the ultimate goal is to provide support that will lead to an increase in the retention rate of new educators.

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski visiting Salem school kids
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski visiting Salem school kids
Photo by: Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - With less than a month to go before the start of the new school year, Senator Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) and Governor Ted Kulongoski kicked off the back-to-school season last week with a gubernatorial bill signing for Oregon’s new Educator Mentoring Program.

Devlin was a chief sponsor of the bill, which was supported by both the Chalkboard Project and Stand for Children, and which received unanimous support in both chambers.

“I believe this program will help us retain and improve the quality of new educators,” said Senator Devlin. “This program gives teachers and school administrators the support they need and deserve.”

House Bill 2574 dedicates $5 million in the next biennium to begin the mentoring program. School districts will receive $5,000 for every new teacher and administrator, and the funds will provide experienced mentors for teachers and administrators during their first two years of work.

By teaming up new educators with veterans, the new teachers can learn from their mentor’s experiences and gain useful skills that will help them to be effective teachers. The ultimate goal is to provide support that will lead to an increase in the retention rate of new educators. It is estimated that Oregon loses around 30% of its teachers within their first three years of teaching. This not only costs the students, but also costs Oregon taxpayers around $45 million each year.

“Our number one priority this year has been strengthening our schools, and this new Educator Mentoring Program is yet another step forward in achieving that goal,” said Devlin.

School districts will retain flexibility in implementing the new mentoring program. Districts that already have established research based mentoring programs will be able to continue or expand their programs, while schools without mentoring programs will apply for grants through the Department of Education.

The Department of Education is responsible for ensuring that all school districts will receive adequate support in implementing the mentoring programs.




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Henry Ruark August 20, 2007 3:09 pm (Pacific time)

Long-term research has proven this need for decades. After basic-dollars and decent classroom numbers, the mentor program ranks higher than anything else except plenty of strong learning media and support.

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