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Study: Teacher Hiring Should Be More Scientific

School districts may be able to hire teachers who do a better job in the classroom if they change the way they screen job applicants, a new study has found.

Recruiters should carefully read recommendation letters, give more weight to a teacher’s ability to keep calm in class and don’t let personal connections overrule scientific evidence, the University of Washington’s Center for Education Data & Research concluded.

The study had access to lots of private information, including letters of recommendation and scoring rubrics used to assess candidates before the interview process. While it focused on one large school district in Washington state, Spokane Public Schools, the results may have implications for many of the nation’s 14,000 school districts.