This dissertation looks at the teacher hiring practices in Huntsville City Schools (HCS), Alabama. The research uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to answer the following questions: 1) What are Huntsville City Schools' (HCSs') current hiring practices?; 2) How well does Huntsville City Schools' existing interview process for rating teacher candidates predict the effectiveness of new hires?; and 3) What are the costs and advantages of alternative instruments as compared to the current process? Both the literature on teacher hiring practices and teacher effectiveness and the findings from the quantitative analyses suggest that there is not one clear measure or tool that predicts later teacher effectiveness. Consequently, I also explore the trade-offs across various hiring measures and teacher characteristics that might inform district decision making about teacher hiring. While this research is specific to HCS, the findings can be broadly applied to other schools and districts with an interest in changing their hiring processes.
Table of Contents
RQ1: Background on Huntsville City Schools
RQ2: Quantitative Analyses
RQ3: Alternatives to HCS' Current Hiring Process
Conclusion and Recommendations
Interview Protocol for March 2014 Site Visit