Hiring the right teachers makes all the difference in student success. But as important as it is to put the right teachers in classrooms, districts have traditionally lacked the ability to hire them with scientific precision. Wouldn’t it be nice to know before scheduling interviews which applicants are most likely to have a real effect on student achievement?
You don’t have to wait for this technology. It’s already available in PowerSchool Unified Talent Candidate Assessment, the industry-leading predictive modeling technology for hiring highly effective teachers. Backed by the ground-breaking work of an unrivaled research consortium in the K-12 ecosystem, districts now have a tool to impartially score candidates based on their predicted classroom effectiveness before scheduling interviews.
Students need more than a “good teacher”
Reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and utilizing traditional hiring assessments based on personality profiles leaves a lot to chance. These methods lead to hiring teachers based on common perceptions of what makes a “good teacher,” but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be effective in the classroom.
K-12 hiring managers are all too familiar with the experience of a promising candidate not working out in the unique environment of their district. Research shows a weak relationship between these traditional hiring methods and student achievement.
Predicting a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom enables a district to assemble a dream team of educators with the confidence they’ll contribute to improved student performance and likely stay in their jobs longer. This allows the district to focus resources on growth investments like professional development instead of constantly trying to fill open positions. It’s time to get off the constant treadmill of posting job vacancies, reviewing resumes, and scheduling interviews in a high-turnover environment.
Predicting teacher effectiveness with well-rounded research
Candidate Assessment is backed by the most sophisticated, data-rich, and highly esteemed research consortium ever seen in K-12 education. Universities don’t even have access to this level of hiring data for predictive modeling of performance.
The consortium was founded by a group of dedicated educators who bring a wealth of experience from a variety of perspectives. They collectively understand that teachers are the most critical factor in fostering student development, driving academic achievement, and advancing district/school performance.
Combining their resources and areas of expertise, the consortium built the most sophisticated predictive modeling tool available for hiring effective educators. Top scholars from Harvard University, the University of Utah, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison contributed advanced statistical and psychometric analyses, as did leading think tanks like Education Analytics, Inc. and Psycho Analytix.
The researchers applied their skills and methods to huge data sets provided by top K-12 research firms. For example, Northwest Evaluation Association supplied decades of student outcome data attached to the teachers who taught them. This allowed researchers to dive deeper than factors like demographics, zip code, and economic status to zero in on how individual teachers impacted student growth. From there, they constructed accurate models that predict teacher effectiveness based on common attributes found in the study.
Stack-rank teaching candidates for an objective, data-based view
Candidate Assessment objectively scores candidates using a well-rounded framework based on:
- Teaching skills
- Cognitive ability
- Attitudinal factors
Using this information, a prospective teacher’s impact on student achievement is scored on a standardized scale from 0‑100, with a score of 50 predicting average teacher effectiveness. This makes it easy to identify the most valuable candidates and schedule their interviews first, before another district hires them.
When used with PowerSchool Unified Talent Applicant Tracking, a candidate’s resume, education, and other career qualifications can be added to the equation for additional consideration.
Improve your teacher interview process with data-guided efficiency
District hiring managers can use candidate scoring to focus their valuable time and resources on interviewing the most desirable candidates. For leaders who may only have time in their schedules for two or three interviews per open position, this ensures their time is well-spent.
In addition to ranking candidates, the tool also generates interview guides to help interviewers get the most complete view of candidates for consideration. Candidate Assessment uses consortium research to generate question guides and simplified scoring rubrics. Interviewers can focus on strengths and weaknesses, capturing the most pertinent information needed to make a well-informed hiring decision.
This data-driven insight ultimately helps districts hire the right teachers, and it can also help to inform professional development plans from the date of hire. Teachers can begin strategic career growth from day one.
Planning more effective teacher professional development
Every teacher has opportunity to grow. The key is identifying valuable areas for development and promoting growth in ways that will most directly drive student success. This helps teachers acquire and apply valuable skills fast while the district makes the best use of its investment in professional development.
Candidate Assessment scoring takes the guesswork out of choosing learning content and tracks, and it helps teachers find more satisfaction in their career from day one. As they bolster areas of improvement with new skills, they’ll enjoy even more effectiveness in driving classroom success. Combining learning efficiency and teacher development is a winning formula for successful K-12 teacher professional development.
In the long term, career growth incentivizes teachers to stay in their jobs. Supporting their growth and helping them increase their effectiveness, develop new skills, and raise their earning potential makes your team of educators stronger and will likely reduce turnover—a priceless benefit during the current nationwide teacher shortage.
It all comes down to student performance
Every person working in a K-12 district has one goal in mind: helping students succeed. It only makes sense to focus hiring decisions on this criteria. It’s finally possible to hire teachers and based on predicted classroom performance. Combined with traditional interviewing methods, it adds science to the art of hiring the right teachers.
The educators your district needs to build its dream team of teachers are out there. Identify and hire them with Candidate Assessment.
About Dr. Don Fraynd
Don completed his Ph.D. in Education Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a principal in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, his school was rated one of the top 100 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Recognizing hiring quality teachers as the most important factor in student success, he later co-founded TeacherMatch, the research consortium behind PowerSchool Unified Talent Candidate Assessment that focuses on helping K‑12 districts make more effective hiring decisions.
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