Teaching Profession Report Roundup

Study Finds Promise in D.C. Teacher-Hiring Program

By Stephen Sawchuk — March 22, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

School districts could hire teachers who are more likely to be successful in the classroom by paying attention to their academic credentials and also asking to see them teach a mock lesson, according to new research.

Here’s the catch: That information is only helpful if it’s actually acted on.

The study was released this month as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research. It was written by five scholars, all hailing from different institutions: Brian Jacob, Jonah Rockoff, Eric Taylor, Benjamin Lindy, and Rachel Rosen.

The District of Columbia school system created a special hiring process, called Teach DC, in 2011. It had several stages, including specialized tests, essays, and a teaching audition. Teaching candidates who passed all the stages of the processwere “recommended” and their applications made available to principals to bring in for interviews. Principals could log into the system and see the teachers’ materials and demonstration lesson, and decide whether to bring those teachers in for interviews. But they weren’t required to hire only from the approved lists.

For their study, the researchers tracked 7,000 candidates who applied through Teach DC between 2011 and 2013, following them through the 2013-14 school year. They found that applicants’ GPAs, SAT/ACT scores, and the selectivity of the colleges they attended all predicted their later classroom performance to some degree. So did the demonstration teaching lesson and a test of their pedagogical content knowledge. But none of the measures studied bore much of a relationship to the applicant who ultimately got hired, indicating that while principals did hire from the recommended list, they didn’t always examine or put much stock in these subcomponents.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 23, 2016 edition of Education Week as Study Finds Promise in D.C. Teacher-Hiring Program


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
From Chaos to Clarity: How to Master EdTech Management and Future-Proof Your Evaluation Processes
The road to a thriving educational technology environment is paved with planning, collaboration, and effective evaluation.
Content provided by Instructure
Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Teachers’ Unions Are Gaining Ground in a State That Once Forbade Them
With unions now representing educators in its largest district, Virginia is seeing a labor resurgence.
7 min read
Image of a folder and a signed agreement.
Teaching Profession Q&A 'Fundamentally Changing the Conditions' for Teaching
A specialized STEM program builds in more planning time for teachers.
5 min read
Tess Carlson, Biology & Community Health Teacher for SFUSD Mission Bay Hub, demonstrates how to meter a pipet for Ruier Fang and Aldriana Ramos, both 12th graders at Thurgood Marshall, on April 29, 2024, in San Francisco.
Tess Carlson, the founding science teacher for Mission Bay Hub, demonstrates how to meter a pipet for students on April 29, 2024, in San Francisco.
Peter Prato for Education Week
Teaching Profession Problem-Free PD, According to Teachers
Teachers on social media express their PD gripes, successes, and suggestions.
2 min read
Photography of a diverse group of professionals at a conference clapping their hands and smiling.
Teaching Profession Listen Up, Admins! Higher Salary Is the Start of Better Teacher Compensation
Teachers on social media weigh-in on what they'd like to see in their compensation packages.
3 min read
An illustration of a red path through a blue tinted maze leading to a dollar sign at the outside of the maze.