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ERIC Number: ED568262
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar-11
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Power of Teacher Selection to Improve Education. Evidence Speaks Reports, Vol 1, #12
Jacob, Brian A.
Center on Children and Families at Brookings
This report describes the findings from a new study of the teacher selection process in Washington, DC public schools. In 2009, the district created a centralized application process to streamline hiring by screening out less desirable candidates. Following the collection of standard information, applicants are asked to complete up to three additional in-depth assessments: (1) a subject-specific written assessment to assess their understanding of content and instructional practices; (2) a 30-minute structured interview with district personnel; and (3) a teaching "audition" that district personnel observed and evaluated. Findings reveal that each of these measures--along with several more traditional indicators of academic achievement (e.g., undergraduate GPA)--strongly predict an individual's performance on the district's teacher evaluation system. Indeed, candidates in the top quartile of applicant quality score 0.6 standard deviations above applicants in the bottom quartile, a difference that is equivalent to the improvement that an average teacher makes between her first and third year on the job. These results suggest that improving teacher selection can be a relatively low cost way to improve the teacher workforce. At the same time, findings show that there still exists considerable scope for improving teacher selection in the district. Many candidates who were not hired had application scores exceeding the average of those who were hired, and only 30 percent of the very best applicants ended up working in the district. Having a sophisticated application system is not sufficient. Districts also must pay careful attention to how principals access and utilize the information generated by the system. The following table is appended: Relationship between application measures and teacher job performance. Contains endnotes.
Center on Children and Families at Brookings. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-797-6069; Fax: 202-797-2968; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center on Children and Families at Brookings
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia