House approves DeVonís mentorship program for new teachers

Posted by: Peter Hoffman and Abigail Campbell  | Thursday, February 23, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 23, 2017) — A bill that would establish a new educator mentorship pilot program passed unanimously out of the Indiana House of Representatives Thursday, according to the bill’s author State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger).

House Bill 1449 would lend support for first-time educators by establishing a pilot program that would require new teachers and administrators to be assigned a mentor for their first two years in that role. The bill would direct the Department of Education to develop a rigorous mentor selection process, manageable workloads for both the mentee and mentor, and direct school districts to conduct training for mentors.

“By building off our work from last session, Indiana is continuing to give educators new tools for a successful career in the classroom,” DeVon said. “Mentorship programs like the one this bill would create have proven to increase teacher retention and improve student outcomes.”

This proposed pilot program would be created within the state’s Career Pathways and Mentorship Program, which works to improve the statewide retention of experienced classroom teachers by providing them with additional responsibilities, such as mentoring younger colleagues. That program was enacted by a 2016 law also authored by DeVon.

A 2014 survey released by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year and the American Institutes for Research indicated that 55 percent of new teachers listed “access to a mentor” as having the largest impact on developing their effectiveness as a teacher. A 2015 federal analysis found that beginning teachers who were assigned a first-year mentor were significantly more likely to remain in the profession than those who were not assigned a first-year mentor.

House Bill 1449 would also establish a teacher residency pilot program to encourage universities to create teacher residency models similar to those used in the medical field.

The funding for the pilot program would come from this year’s budget, which will be finalized later this session

The bill will now move on to the Senate for further consideration.

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State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) represents House District 5, which includes parts St. Joseph of county.   

A high-resolution photo of DeVon can be downloaded by clicking here.