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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

Student success is dependent on teacher quality; therefore, it is imperative that principals hire the teachers most likely to experience success as measured by the impact on student outcomes. This study investigated teacher hiring processes to determine the extent to which practices that are supported by selection science and teacher quality research are utilized by school principals. Data were gathered using a survey e-mailed to principals in ten states in the southern and western regions of the United States. Analysis indicated that principals do not use consistent processes and vary the hiring approach based on their opinion of conditions. Principals favor traditional interviews as the primary teacher selection instrument and are unlikely to utilize predictive screening tools or research-based structured interviews. In most cases, principals do not make final hiring decisions based on measurable data or research-based qualities known to be predictive of high teacher performance. Most principals reported extremely limited teacher selection training through one-time workshops and graduate courses. This research is limited by the participation of principals in only ten states but implies that there is a disconnect between research-based best practices for teacher hiring and the actual processes used by principals.

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