Improving Teacher Selection

Houston, TX
Teach for America,
Democracy Prep Charter School



Can particular candidate characteristics, as observed during the hiring process, predict future teacher effectiveness and inform better teacher selection practices and policies?


During the spring and summer of 2012, we partnered with the Houston Independent School District, Teach For America, and Democracy Prep Public Schools to analyze the hiring information that they collect about their teacher candidates. The data included sample lessons delivered by candidates, interviews, and surveys that addressed attitudes toward teaching as well as cognitive ability.


Once candidates have spent at least one year in the classroom, we will correlate these candidate characteristics with student achievement data to assess whether they are predictive of teacher effectiveness. The results of this study will hopefully provide insight into how schools can improve their hiring processes to select teaching candidates who are more likely to raise student achievement.