Friday, November 14, 2014

Assessing the Predictive Validity of Teacher Selection Tools

Evidence suggests teacher hiring in public schools is ad-hoc and often does not result in good selection amongst applicants. Some districts use structured selection instruments in the hiring process, but we know little about the efficacy of such tools.

This paper (free) evaluates the ability of applicant selection tools used by Spokane Public Schools (SPS) to predict three outcomes: measures of teachers’ value-added contributions to student learning, teacher absence behavior, and attrition rates. The authors observe all applicants to the district, and are therefore able to estimate sample selection corrected models using random tally errors in selection instruments and differences in the quality of competition across job postings. These two factors influence the probability of being hired into SPS but are unrelated to measures of teacher performance. 

The authors find that the screening instruments predict teacher value-added in student achievement and teacher attrition, but not teacher absences.

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