Educational Moneyball: Principals' Decision Making in the Screening and Selection of Effective Teachers
Howard, John Earl
MetadataShow full item record
The screening and selecting of teacher candidates is important to the success of all students and for school performance. There is a need for principal professional development on the human capital management skills that school leaders need in order to succeed in high-poverty, low-performing schools. With principals being held more accountable for the success of public schools and student achievement, it is important they ensure the most highly qualified and effective teachers are in every classroom. It is important for students in high-poverty schools with a high number of Black and Hispanic students and students on free and reduced meals to be taught by teachers who are knowledgeable, experienced, teaching within their subject field, and certified. Using education production theory, predictive analysis, and decision-making theory, this study examined the empirical research surrounding the effects of teacher credentials on student achievement, and provided an intervention in which principals would simulate the screening and selection process, identify the criteria they use, and reflect on their decision-making processes when screening and selecting teacher candidates. In turn, principals would make more knowledgeable and informed hiring decisions. Using a quasi-experimental preintervention–postintervention design, this study analyzed the credentials on which high school principals place the most importance when screening and selecting teacher candidates. Seventeen principals of high-poverty, low-performing high schools in a mid-Atlantic school district participated in an online professional development on the credentials that have been found to have positive effects on student achievement, and were trained on how to use the administrative decision-making model to make more informed screening and selection decisions in the future. Data from the study showed the principals relied on their gut instincts and experience despite participating in the professional development. The results of the study suggest principals need training on hiring practices and how to make research-based decision-making strategies.