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New D.C. Schools' Hiring System Requires Teacher Audition

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    An emerging body of research suggests a correlation between observations of teachers and student achievement.

    Apparently, there’s at least one business like show business.

    Starting this summer, the District will mandate teachers to make like show people when it premieres a new teacher hiring system that will require applicants to submit 30-minute taped auditions, according to Education Week.

    The auditions are a part of an online database that will help principles decide which teacher-candidates to formally interview.

    “It signals to candidates that DCPS is a special place to work and takes teaching very seriously,” said Benjamin Lindy, the manager of teacher-selection design, to Education Week.  “All of this is designed so that we present useful and distilled information to principals so they can make the final decisions about who teaches in their buildings.”

    The current candidate selection process typically consists of a background check, a review of transcripts, licensing test scores and a resume.

    Such mechanisms generally don’t take into account a prior record of success among experienced teachers or provide an indication that novice candidates have the potential to be successful teachers given the right supports, said Elizabeth Arons, a New York-based human-resources consultant for school districts, in the same report.

    The District’s new teacher-hiring model will consist of four distinct phases: an online application, which includes responses to two essay prompts -- a pedagogical content knowledge test that requires candidates to analyze a students work, determine where the student falls short, and devise a strategy to improve necessary skills -- an interview and model lesson -- and, of course, a video-recorded audition, in which the candidate teaches a 30-minute lesson, in a D.C. public school, geared to an objective provided by the host teacher.

    Other urban districts, such as Denver, Pittsburgh and Tulsa, are taking similar steps to move their human-resources offices toward the “strategic hiring” system.

    These districts would not have the luxury of being picky about candidates, were it not for a surge of talent looking to enter the teaching profession.

    “You can be very selective right now in who you’re picking in some of these urban districts,” Arons told Education Week. “But that’s certainly not the case in all areas.”

    Remember D.C. teachers: they may have told you would not go far, that day you open and there you are, next day on the dressing room they’ve hung a star, let’s…sorry, too much?