This week, The New Teacher Project is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its groundbreaking report, “Missed Opportunities: How We Keep High-Quality Teachers Out of Urban Classrooms“.
The report details the cumbersome hiring process teachers face when applying to low-performing schools.
Among its key findings:
- With aggressive recruitment, teachers apply in large numbers. But despite having hundreds of applicants in high-need areas and many more total applicants than vacancies to fill, each district was left scrambling at the 11th hour to fill its openings.
- Applicants withdraw after months in limbo. Fed up with waiting, anywhere from 31 percent to almost 60 percent of applicants withdrew from the hiring process, often to accept jobs with districts that made offers earlier. Of those who withdrew, the majority (50 percent to 70 percent) cited the late hiring timeline as a major reason they took other jobs.
- The most serious issue is that many of the best candidates, who have the most options, were the most likely to abandon hard-to-staff districts in the face of hiring delays. This forced these districts to fill their vacancies from an applicant pool with higher percentages of unqualified and uncertified teachers.
Today the non-profit organization featured Teri Evans, the principal of Memphis’ Kate Bond Elementary School. As Evans explains, Memphis changed its hiring process about four years ago to take place earlier in the year. That’s resulted in the district retaining more qualified teachers.
“With the process beginning earlier, we are able to attract candidates who might otherwise have accepted positions with school systems that began hiring earlier than ours,” Evans said. “Earlier hiring also means we have time to contact references, and can reasonably extend offers to candidates who must relocate before the start work.”
Check out the entire post here.