Wednesday, October 28, 2009

KTIP for new teachers (Quality agenda item 1.5)

In my working list of key ways to build teaching quality, item 1 is getting teacher preparation focused on practice, and item 2 is getting teaching careers organized around collaborative, data-based work to raise achievement. The Kentucky Teacher Internship Program, known as KTIP, fits in between.

KTIP provides each new teacher with mentoring from a veteran teacher and an education professor, and it's important. It's a state initiative that can make a big difference. It's also a state initiative that's being undermined by funding troubles that are reducing funding for the needed mentors.

I'm going to toss out an idea for others to kick around. How would it work if the state redefined KTIP as a district cost, tasked EPSB to set the stipend schedule and approve mentor qualifications, and reallocated current KTIP funding through the SEEK formula?

Tentatively, hesitantly, I think it might ensure that KTIP is permanent and non-negotiable. I'm sure districts will have a problem with carrying any cost increases and with the years when they have an unusually high number of new hires to support, but I wonder how that minus compares to the lasting negatives of having underprepared teachers.

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