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Identifying Effective Teachers During the Hiring Process

a PSC Research Project [ARCHIVE DISPLAY]

Investigator:   Brian Jacob

We propose to conduct a rigorous study of the relationship between a host of non-traditional teacher characteristics collected during a typical hiring process and subsequent teacher effectiveness in raising student achievement. Most research on teacher effectiveness has examined a relatively small set of teacher characteristics, such as graduate education and certification, which are collected by school administrators in order to satisfy legal requirements and set salaries. Like the well-known story of a man looking for his keys under a street light?not because he dropped them nearby, but because that is where he can see?researchers? lack of success in predicting new teacher performance may be driven by a narrow focus on commonly available data.

We will focus on a new teacher selection system developed by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in the school year 2010-11. In addition to providing standard information such as educational background, credentials, prior experience and teacher exam scores, all applicants were required to complete a test of content knowledge for teaching, the Haberman Online Teacher Screener, and an essay about how they would respond to common teaching scenarios. Approximately 90% percent of teachers made it through the initial screening and were then passed to a second round in which they had to analyze student work in the particular subject for which they expressed an interest. The 66% percent of teachers passing this second round were interviewed by district officials and auditioned by teaching a lesson in a district school.

All three Principal Investigators were involved in the development and implementation of the new system. As Manager of Teacher Selection Design at DCPS, Lindy led the team that developed and implemented the new system. Jacob and Rockoff provided unpaid advice to district officials on various aspects of the design.

We are now seeking funding to analyze various aspects of the hiring process and to track the teachers hired by DCPS during 2011 so that we can determine how well the various components of the selection system predict teachers? on-the-job performance.

Funding Period: 10/04/2011 to 06/01/2015

This PSC Archive record is displayed for historical reference.

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