Improving Teacher Hiring Practices - Student Tax OPtion

A Data-Driven Method Can Now Be Used to Hire Teachers

With the need for American schools to hire up to 300,000 teachers per year, amongst an already over-crowded applicant pool, researchers have sought out a method to resolve which particular teachers would be beneficial for their school districts.

One way is being proposed by Lauren Dachille, the founder and CEO of Nimble – a tracking software that is data-driven and predicts which applicants would be most appropriate for certain school districts.

The main factors that determine a teacher’s suitability are whether they can increase the success of their students and if they’re more likely to remain with the school district.

Dachille also adds that other factors can include, “how many jobs has this candidate applied to, across which job categories, and how many days passed between the date the job was posted and when they applied.”

The use of metadata is another key component to this process – how early the applicant applies and their college GPA score can also affect if they are chosen. In the future, factors could also extend to how the school is run and its particular culture.

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Nimble began as Dachille’s response to ineffectiveness from the human resources departments of school districts.

“It wasn’t atypical for someone to apply and then wait several weeks to hear anything back from us,” Dachille said, noting that these “districts need hiring tools that promote efficiency and prioritization.” Such tools brought forth by Nimble include “an automated bottleneck notification” that can allow for an easier follow up and hiring process for high-ranked teachers.

However, one potential downside to this process is the potential for teachers to be hired in a school district that is impartial to their views or teaching style.

“In fields where success is measured by something highly subjective like supervisor evaluations, the danger of creating a predictive model that simply amplifies human bias is huge,” Dachille admits. However, she is optimistic that the student success rate will emphasize the value of the results.

While it is currently unknown whether Nimble has actually boosted scores for either the student or the teacher, it cannot be denied that it has been grasped as an effective tool to hire new teachers in a shortened amount of time, up to at least 20%. This hiring approach has currently served approximately 50 school districts, and it appears to be a prospect that will increase within the next several years.

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