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Updated on March 14, 1998
The Florida Beginning Teacher Program (FBTP) was established as a result of 1982 legislation. That makes the Florida program one of the earliest new teacher programs in the United States. The FBTP is a two year program which provides support during a one year internship and the first year of full time teaching. The internship requires teacher education students to work part-time in schools during their senior year. One semester assignment must be in an urban setting, the other semester does not have to be an urban setting. Beginning teachers are assisted by a "Support Team" made up of a peer teacher, a school administrator, and another educator, such as a university or central office administrator. This model was adapted for use in the state of Kentucky as well.
The program reported that in the 1986-87 school year there were 4,721 novice teachers who successfully completed their first year within the program. Regarding the two foci of sssiting or assessing, the program walks a fine line because it requires a team evaluation of the novice teacher using the state-defined 35 teaching competencies in the Florida Performance Measurement System. However, only the school administrator evaluates the novice teacher for job retention and state certification. If the expectations are not met the new teacher can have a second year to demonstrate the required level of mastery. See Mosrie, D.(1986). "Florida's Beginning Teacher Program: One Principal's View". NASSP Bulletin, 70, pages 111-112. The Florida program does provide money to support school mentoring programs.
About 1989 Florida stopped the required use of their Performance Measurement System of assessing teachers, which was also used to make merit pay awards to outstanding teachers. A concern was that the effective teaching competencies Florida used were based on research into characteristics of effective teaching by veteran teachers. It was a concern that new teachers were being compared to criteria appropriate for more experienced teachers.
The Florida Beginning Teacher Program was revised and begun again in 1990 as the Professional Orientation Program (POP) for Beginning Teachers. The POP seems to have many of the same type of program components as the FBTP. That is, it provides a mentor as a part of a support team which both assesses for purposes of certification, and assists new teachers. Each district develops its own POP but these must be annually approved by the Florida Dept. of Education. Even though it is no longer required, the Florida Performance Measurement System is now both for formative and summative evaluation and many districts still use it.
Florida was also examining the professional development school model at this time as a means of supporting the mentoring and growth of both its new and its experienced teachers.
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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