New post from Mark Tuminello –
Two companies are trying to help schools hire more effective teachers and they are using an interesting method to do so. TeacherMatch based out of Chicago and Hanover Research from Washington have both created algorithms that could revolutionize the teacher selection process. The driving force is test scores. Both of these companies claim that their system will help school districts (they have been contracted by over twenty school districts between them) find teachers that can build up student scores.
For years Gallup’s TeacherInsight and the Haberman Star Teacher Pre-Screener have been the foundation of teacher hires across the country. Both programs stressing a teacher’s beliefs and attitudes towards teaching. These programs also focus more on a potential hire fitting in well with the school environment and culture.
TeacherMatch CEO Don Fraynd was previously the chief improvement officer for the Chicago Public School system. During that time he realized that how incoming teachers were being hired was not based on the qualifications he was looking for. This caused him to leave CPS and he founded TeacherMatch three years ago.
To test his theory on qualifications he conducted a research study and partnered with others such as the Northwest Evaluation Association and University of Chicago. The priority was to define what teacher qualities could identify into student test scores. Every bit of research showed that four main factors needed to be judged when hiring a teacher: teaching skills, qualifications, attitude, and cognitive ability. An elaborate algorithm was then created and judging these four things TeacherMatch can give each candidate a hard score.
While student performance is paramount and ineffective teachers tend to give students a disadvantage when it comes to testing there is also a business aspect to TeacherMatch and Hanover Research. With their client list growing it appears teacher competence may become a $10 million industry for Hanover Research as early as next year.