Using research to predict good teachers

Daniel Polk works with students on reading at his school

Uplift Education, a charter network in Dallas, is using predictive research to identify effective teachers like Daniel Polk (above) more easily.

From the Harvard Education Letter’s Laura Pappano:

What if you could spot a top teacher candidate from an e-mail?

It may sound too good to be true, but statistically speaking, it can be surprisingly effective, according to one charter school organization requiring applicants to answer hypothetical e-mails as part of its interviewing process beginning this summer.

The e-mail exercise is just part of a larger effort by Uplift Education of Dallas, Texas to use predictive research to help them identify teachers who are most likely to be effective with students and remain with the organization.

Predictive research is not new; it’s how Amazon or iTunes knows what products to recommend to you. But it’s attracting more interest in education circles. The Gates Foundation recently announced a $1 million grant to use predictive analytics to identify variables in student school success. Now, Uplift Education is using predictive research to tackle one of the most vexing riddles facing school leaders everywhere: how do you hire a good—even great—teacher when faced with mountains of rèsumès?

Given its plans to expand from 17 to 37 schools in five years, Uplift CEO Yasmin Bhatia says her organization needed a better way to “increase our hit rate of having a great teacher.” For any school, making a bad hire is costly. Even though charter schools can fire an ineffective teacher mid-year, precious time is lost for students.Read more

One Response to Using research to predict good teachers

  1. Bob Doyle July 14, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I’m looking for the research article, conducted I think in North Carolina, where they took video snips of teachers in action and showed them to non-educators who accurately picked out the good from the bad teachers. Can you assist in finding this research?

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