Recruiting and Selecting

Great schools start with great teachers and leaders, and states and districts need specific strategies to recruit and select high-caliber candidates. The Innovation Station’s resources for recruiting and selecting include the following:

  • General resources, such as publications on expanding the teacher and leader pipelines, hiring tools for turnaround schools, and tools for teacher and leader hiring and placement.
  • International examples, with publications on what other countries do to selectively recruit top talent.

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General Resources


The National Council on Teacher Quality’s ninth annual teacher policy yearbook presents evaluations of policies in all states in teacher policy areas, including teacher retention, expanding the... Read more »

This biannual report from the National Council on Teacher Quality presents state snapshots on teacher policy in 2017 regarding teacher preparation, recruitment and retention and provides guidance to... Read more »
This report by the Rainwater Leadership Alliance presents detailed information and examples from successful principal preparation programs on their approaches to recruitment, selection, training,... Read more »

This report details lessons learned from implementation of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship (WWTF) program in five states.

The third in a series of reports from the Wallace Foundation, this report examines six school districts and the methods they use to improve school leadership.
This research study, published and funded by The Wallace Foundation, focuses on six urban school districts that are seeking to enhance the principal pipeline through participation in the Principal... Read more »

This brief presents findings from a five-year study of 1,990 public school teachers who began teaching in 2007–08.

This brief examines how six school districts participating in the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative are using data systems to identify a steady supply of effective school leaders... Read more »

This report examines 22 teacher education programs that have significantly shifted focus to place high-quality clinical teacher preparation at the center of their programs.

McKinsey draws on its experience of working with school systems in more than 50 countries to produce a report that examines the practice of the top-performing school systems in the world and examines... Read more »
The resources in Public Impact’s Competencies for Turnaround Success series are designed to help district officials identify and hire the right leaders and teachers for this demanding role.

Working from the premise that effective principals play an important role in improving student outcomes by creating a positive work culture, this report looks at actions that state policymakers... Read more »

This Learning Policy Institute report explains the positive impact of teacher diversity on outcomes for students of color, barriers to recruiting and retaining teachers of color, and promising... Read more »

This report looks at 10 school districts and the key policy decisions they have made to redesign their teacher compensation systems.

Discover how  teacher and leader preparation can play a significant role in equitable access.

This brief from The Education Trust presents ideas for states to consider when developing a state plan to ensure that all students, particularly disadvantaged students, have access to effective... Read more »

This report examines ways districts can work with teacher preparation programs to ensure all students have access to high-quality teachers.

This study presents findings from a preliminary analyses of the Leading Educators Fellowship, a professional development program for highly effective, experienced teachers intended to improve... Read more »

Starting from the premise that teachers and school leaders have the greatest influence on student outcomes, this report presents strategies for recruiting teachers and principals and ensuring... Read more »

This brief from ERS is based on its work with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and examines the relationship between strategic school design and effective student-based budgeting.

Human resources (HR) departments play an important role in the education sector, as they determine crucial decisions by aiding in processes such as hiring qualified teacher candidates or aiding in... Read more »

This report outlines the methods used by four successful charter networks to recruit and develop principals, and offers recommendations for expanding these practices to schools across the country... Read more »

In an October 2014 discussion hosted by the Albert Shanker Institute, a panel of experts examined reasons that high-needs students are disproportionately taught by new, poorly prepared, and... Read more »
One of the biggest challenges in education today is identifying talented candidates to successfully lead turnarounds of persistently low-achieving schools.
This report, issued by the National Council on Teacher Quality, presents a summary of the current research that characterizes the attributes of effective teachers.

Teachers and leaders can find examples, strategies, and resources to strengthen their district’s teacher evaluation system to support professional learning. 

This report examines five urban school districts and the challenges they face in identifying, selecting, and recruiting school leaders.
Many have suggested that charter schools can be key agents in leading dramatic improvements in public education.
This webpage, published by New Leaders, includes a series of briefs that encourage a greater focus on school leadership at the federal level.
This publication focuses on teacher recruitment strategies that will better staff urban and rural districts, which are often hard to staff.

This series of videos follows five exemplary principals to illustrate five key practices that are essential to shaping instructional leadership: shaping a vision of academic success for all... Read more »

This brief, written by the Education Commission of the States, examines the necessity of strong school leadership and lists steps states can take to ensure that all schools have effective leaders... Read more »

This TNTP report on teacher compensation puts forward the case for rewarding teachers according to their performance.
Based on the assumption that teacher pay is an important factor in teacher recruitment and retention, this report by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) examines how different districts... Read more »

This report from the Center for American Progress calls for the expansion of supported entry programs for new teachers.

This case study examines the work of three groups of charter management organizations (CMOs) to develop and launch teacher credentialing and master’s degrees programs.

This report, published by Gallup, includes data from 5th- to 12th-grade students, together with material gathered over several decades from studies focusing on the key qualities of high-performing... Read more »

The Education Commission of the States’ database—updated weekly—tracks legislation, rules/regulations, and executive orders on a variety of education issues, including teacher and leadership... Read more »

This policy snapshot, published by the Education Commission of the States, provides a state-by-state comparison of recent legislation aimed to support targeted recruitment and retention of... Read more »

This database compiles collective bargaining agreements and state policies for more than 100 of the largest school districts in all 50 states, and also generates customized reports by district.
This publication, prepared by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, discusses the importance of effective teacher hiring and placement, with a specific focus on at-risk districts and... Read more »
This toolbox, prepared for by The New Teacher Project, is a collection of 250 resources garnered from 50 schools and districts.
In this report, the Center for American Progress looks at the increasing demands placed on principals in today’s schools, which are leading to growing rates of attrition in the field.

This paper presents findings from an analysis using student-level data over ten years to investigate the long-term impact of students having teachers of the same race in elementary grades. ... Read more »

This report examines the progress made in recent years in increasing teacher diversity in public schools.

This brief by the Center for American Progress highlights how some states use funding through Title II, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to strengthen the teacher pipeline by... Read more »

This report from EdTrust examines why retention rates of black teachers and teachers of color remain low.

With the view that student reading proficiency in third grade is a key ingredient to future academic success and that teachers are fundamental in ensuring positive student outcomes, this brief by the... Read more »
This report, produced by Public Impact for the University of Virginia’s School Turnaround Specialist Program, describes how using competencies that predict performance can improve turnaround... Read more »

Based on data collected from six urban school districts that participated in The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, this report from the Rand Corporation examines the resources... Read more »

This working paper presents findings from an investigation on the impact of demographic matches or mismatches  on teacher expectations for students in high schools.


This working paper from the Center for Education Data and Research presents findings about the teacher hiring process from a study analyzing data from Washington state on prospective teachers and... Read more »

Published by the Center for American Progress, the report focuses on the need to build a more racially and ethnically diversified teaching workforce.

This brief highlights an analysis of the Boston Public Schools Human Capital Initiative (HCI), launched in 2014 to improve teacher quality in city schools.

School districts play a primary role in helping principals maximize their responsibilities of improving teaching and learning.
This article—published by the National Center to Improve Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities—examines how four states implemented new technologies (at... Read more »
Meeting the significant demand for outstanding teachers and principals is a persistent challenge in many urban school systems.

This study examines what Boston charter schools are doing to achieve consistently strong student outcomes.

This article—published by the National Center to Improve Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities—provides a set of guidelines to help state-level leaders... Read more »

Using data from Los Angeles Unified School District and Washington state, this report seeks to quantify the impact of layoffs on teacher productivity.

This study evaluates the effectiveness of teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

As the number of English language learners (ELLs) continues to grow in a more diverse range of districts, education leaders will have to develop creative and comprehensive recruitment strategies to... Read more »
This working paper by the Calder Center examines the predictive value of teacher applicant selection tools in Spokane Public Schools.

This guide provides an in-depth look at the elements of a 14-month research-based leadership development model designed to train aspiring school leaders in New York.

This pilot study, which focuses on school districts in Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, finds that teacher turnover is costly and has a direct correlation with student outcomes in... Read more »

This paper analyzes the impact of the Florida Critical Teacher Shortage Program (FCTSP), which is aimed at increasing recruitment and stemming attrition of teachers in subject areas with shortages... Read more »

In California, seven out of 10 of the state’s fastest growing occupations are in STEM fields.

Published by the National Center to Improve Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities, this case study researches the approaches three states have taken to “grow... Read more »
Published by the National Center to Improve Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities, this brief highlights best practices—from across the country—for utilizing... Read more »
This working paper from the Calder Center analyzes 25 years of data on the academic ability of teachers in New York State and finds widespread and continuously increasing gains in the academic... Read more »
This report from the Center for American Progress examines policies and practices that states, districts, and schools can leverage to improve the overall quality of the educator workforce and ensure... Read more »
This policy brief by the Wallace Foundation examines three independent research studies to determine the causes of the current problems in the labor market for principals.

This report outlines findings from a study of the 2010 cohort of Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Program grantees in their third year of implementation.

Published by the National Center to Improve Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities, this brief focuses on the collaboration between district personnel... Read more »
This Policy-to-Practice Brief provides examples of how district and state leaders can take advantage of the renewed interest in teaching during these challenging economic times.
This report analyzes the distribution of teachers in Miami-Dade County and examines whether teacher quality varies with socioeconomic factors across the county.