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ERIC Number: ED498621
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Teacher Recruitment and Teacher Quality? Are Charter Schools Different? Policy Report Number 20
Burian-Fitzgerald, Marisa; Harris, Debbi
Education Policy Center, Michigan State University
Charter schools are expected to be innovative and to look different than traditional public schools. There is evidence that charter school administrators are taking advantage of opportunities to be innovative in their hiring practices and that teachers in charter schools look different than their colleagues in traditional public schools. It is not entirely clear whether this is a positive development since charter school teachers look stronger on some quality measures and weaker on others. Innovative charter school hiring practices offer an opportunity to evaluate the impact of various hiring practices in the public school setting. Traditional public, charter public, and private schools can all learn from the experimentation currently occurring in the charter sector. It is acknowledged that teacher quality can make a substantial difference in student learning. Teachers in charter and traditional public schools differ on several measurable characteristics that may impact student learning, including teaching experience, certification status and the selectivity of the teacher's undergraduate institution. When making hiring decisions, charter schools appear to place more of an emphasis on the selectivity of a teacher's undergraduate institution and less on certification and experience. Alternatively, this difference may reflect different preferences among potential teachers themselves: charter school administrators may be selecting their teachers from a labor pool that looks quite different from the one available to traditional public school administrators. Charter schools may be hiring teachers who differ from traditional public school teachers in other respects as well that are not measured by data included in this report. The hiring practices of charter schools appear to be particularly innovative when they are not bound by local collective bargaining agreements, when there are multiple authorizing entities, and when certification requirements are flexible. In addition, charter schools appear more able to compete with traditional public schools for experienced, certified teachers when their funding comes directly from the state. Policymakers vary in the amount of flexibility in hiring they have given charter school operators: findings range from no certification requirements to mandating certification for all charter school teachers. It is up to state policymakers to decide what qualifications they feel are important and then establish regulations that encourage charter school operators to select teachers with those qualifications without discouraging innovative hiring practices. (Contains 11 footnotes and 7 tables.)
Education Policy Center. Michigan State University, 201 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034. Tel: 517-355-4494; Fax: 517-432-6202; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Education Policy Center.