Teacher Assessment Before Hiring

Gallup’s TeacherInsight and the Haberman Star Teacher Pre-Screener have been a part of teacher hiring in this country for years.  Each service assesses the applicant’s attitudes and beliefs toward their job, as well as gives an estimate of how a teacher will fit in with a school’s culture.  This looks likely to start to change as society looks more and more toward test scores as the primary way to asses a teacher’s competency.

TeacherMatch is one of the companies cooking up new algorithms that puts test scores at the forefront of teacher assessment, and it looks like they will be profitable.  Hanover Research, another such forward-looking company, is expecting a $10m year in 2014.  This is big business, and it will directly affect the education of our country.

Mark Tuminello - teacher hiringBoth of these companies are claiming that their proprietary algorithms will revolutionize teacher selection, driving test scores up.  While this would be great, as we could use a boost there, one wonders the potential losses in a system like this.  There has been a lot of backlash against other types of programs that rely mostly on test scores to make hiring and pay decisions, particularly the rating of schools themselves over the past decade.

What is promising about TeacherMatch is that the CEO previously worked for the Chicago Public School system.  His company was born out of a real need, that the teachers being hired did not possess the qualifications his school system needed.  His company is now three years old, and already making headlines in education circles.

My first question after learning about all of this was: how do you asses what a teacher’s test scores will look like before they get the job?  There has been testing to determine this.  The Northwest Evaluation Association and University of Chicago has found that test scores can be adequately predicted based on teaching skills, qualifications, attitude, and cognitive ability.  I don’t know just how they determine all of these factors, but it’s what they’re busy developing.  TeacherMatch even gives a hard score after everything is computed.

Just another step toward the future for an industry that really needs it.

from Mark Tuminello – newest post from the blog of Mark Tuminello