Big Problems in How Schools Hire Teachers and How to Solve Them

Every year schools must hire new teachers to replace the nearly 15 percent who leave annually. But what if schools are doing it wrong? Matt Barnum digs through some surprising research which shows that many schools and districts don’t require prospective teachers to perform a single model lesson, aren’t actively recruiting teachers of color and often end up bringing on teachers after the school year has already begun – harming student achievement in the process.

Major findings from the review of research are as follows:

  •         Teachers often aren’t required to conduct sample lessons, and principals aren’t always supported in using data for hiring purposes
  •         Many districts aren’t doing a good job recruiting or hiring teachers of color
  •         Teachers are often hired after the school year starts — and that harms student achievement
  •         There’s still a lot to learn about the best ways to hire teachers

Barnum’s paper includes numerous tables, graphs, and links to original research to explicate and support each of these conclusions.

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