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Updated March 16, 1998
South Carolina -
A competency-based approach for a new teacher evaluation system was adopted as a part of a state legislated reform act. This included the requirement to use the state's "Assessment of Performance in Teaching" instrument for assessing very specific teaching behaviors in all teachers. New teachers which passed the APT assessment were eligible for annual contracts, but thopse who did not pass the APT received a second provisional contract or were released. Teachers who did not pass the APT the second year became ineligible for employment in South Carolina, for two years and only if they earned six credits of training in the ara of their deficiency.
By 1990 the University of South Carolina had a network of 10 Professional Development Schools which was attracting interest in the state. In 1991 the worsening morale problems reported as a result of the state reform package led South Carolina to begin considering the Professional Development School model to support beginning teacher mentoring. The SC State Department of Education was also investigating a longer and more structured internship within the PDS model.
South Carolina has adopted the INTASC assessment approach including a required professional development portfolio that is to document the new teacher's accomplishment of essential skills and which forms a major part of the evidence for teacher licensure. To date the South Carolina induction approach has only included support of a mentor for two years.
Recent efforts to improve South Carolina's induction system have been undertaken by a state funded project led by East Carolina University. Rita Stringfellow of ECU has conducted a very through study of mentoring across the USA and has made some comparisons to South Carolina'a approach to induction and support of new teachers. In 1997 she published the results of this study along with recommendations for the state. Some key ideas were to extend the induction period from 2 to 3 years to allow new teachers and mentors enough time to complete the required professional development portfolios for certification. Among other things expanded use of professional development schools is being promoted.
The South Carolina Teacher Recruitment Center has also played a key role in the analysis of the current state system and in creating recommendations for further improvements that would incorporate best practices in mentoring and induction. Stay tuned.
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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