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Updated on March 13, 1998
In 1989-90 the State of Alabama created the Beginning Teacher Assistance Program, offered the BTAP model to local school districts, and began to fund local BTA pilot programs. Districts were not required to have BTA programs, but new teachers in the districts with state-funded pilot BTA programs were required to participate. Sufficient funds for a state-wide implementation were expected to allow a full implementation, but were never provided by the State.
In the BTAPs mentors are provided and given a role of supporting and facilitating the growth of the beginning teacher. Mentors do observe and provide formative feed back to new teachers to help them improve their teaching, but state guidelines exclude mentors from summative evaluation of beginning teachers. The conversations within the mentoring relationship are strictly confidential.
The State designed a special mentor training and published a mentoring guide, and training materials. See Alabama State Dept. of Education (1990). "Alabama's Beginning Teacher Assistance Program Training Manual", AL: State Dept. of Education. Mentors are trained for their role at a network of Regional Inservice Centers by university teacher education faculty.
In 1992 Alabama had a specified system of evaluation for beginning teachers using state developed instruments. These instruments are a detailed list of the teaching characteristics the state expects of all teachers. The State Board of Education developed a set of critieria for all to use, although districts can choose other methods than the state's for using the required critieria.
If you are aware of incorrect statements in this material OR if you can add authoritative new information concerning mentoring and induction in the various United States, please contact Barry Sweeny with that information. His e-mail is
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