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Updated in March 1998
Idaho - The Idaho Mentor Program began about 1987 and included a dual mentoring role of assessment and assistance of new teachers. Idaho provided funding sufficient to state a guarantee that every new teacher would have a mentor during their first year of teaching.
A 1988 study, "Teacher Induction in Southeastern Idaho: Preliminary Report" found that two approaches predominated, a loosely structured "buddy" system and a highly structured mentoring team approach involving a mentor, new teacher, administrator, and a university field experience supervisor. Results of the study showed that, to be effective, induction programs must begin during the first year of teaching. Participants in the study reported a preference for the structured team approach. (See Klug, B. (1988). ED291717, 26 pages, presented at the Assn. of Teacher Educators annual meeting.)
In 1989 the approach changed an Idaho instituted a voluntary Beginning Teacher Program. At this time the state was providing $1000 per first year teacher to be used for mentor stipends, released time for mentoring, staff development for beginning teachers, and/or contracts with higher education to provide support for new teachers and their mentors and administrators.
By 1991 Idaho was calling for schools to provide mentoring assistance to beginning teachers but no state funding was made available to support that effort.
In 1995 Idaho was reporting that state funding was available for voluntary one year mentoring programs and that every Idaho school district had chosen to participate. Those districts determined their own mentor selection and matching criteria and mentoring processes. At this point Idaho was supporting only those programs which used a formative purpose for assessment.
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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