Monday, March 7, 2016

Hiring more effective teachers - selection process doen't focus on most reliable measures

Selecting more effective teachers among job applicants during the hiring process could be a highly cost-effective means of improving educational quality, but there is little research that links information gathered during the hiring process to subsequent teacher performance.

This study examined  the relationship among applicant characteristics, hiring outcomes, and teacher performance in the Washington DC Public Schools (DCPS), taking advantage of detailed data on a multi-stage application process, which includes written assessments, a personal interview, and sample lessons, as well as the annual evaluations of all DCPS teachers, based on multiple criteria.

The authors find that a number of background characteristics (e.g., undergraduate GPA) as well as screening measures (e.g., applicant performance on a mock teaching lesson) strongly predict teacher effectiveness.

Interestingly, these measures are only weakly, if at all, associated with the likelihood of being hired, suggesting considerable scope for improving teacher quality through the hiring process.

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