Teachers are significantly less likely to apply to schools with high concentrations of poor students and more likely to apply to schools that reflect their own racial or ethnic background, according to a new study.
In a working paper published last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, researchers analyzed data on teacher-applicants at three summer job fairs organized by the Chicago public schools.
The study also found that a school’s location is key to drawing job-seekers. Schools on the more-affluent north and northwest sides of Chicago received more applicants than those in the predominantly African-American south side. The south-side schools, on average, got 29 fewer applicants per fair than those in northern Chicago.
There were fewer correlations between the number of applications and schools’ achievement level or racial makeup, however, once the researchers controlled for school poverty rates.
Teachers’ preferences greatly affected the size of the applicant pool from which schools could draw: Some got more than 300 applications, while others collected as few as five.
A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as Teacher Hiring