Madison School District proposes using screening test to predict teachers’ impact on student success

Molly Beck:

The Madison School Board is considering spending $273,000 on a screening program its creators say can better predict whether prospective teachers will improve student achievement.

The proposed three-year contract with Chicago-based TeacherMatch would provide the district with a system to track and recruit applicants, ask teacher candidates a timed series of questions and assign each applicant a professional development profile to show principals or human resources staff what kind of help applicants may need once hired based on their answers, said Ron Huberman, executive chairman of TeacherMatch.

One board member is concerned that the program puts too much emphasis on the impact candidates may have on student test scores and that the public won’t be able to scrutinize how the screening program judges prospective teachers. And the leader of the local teachers union says computer-based screening tools don’t work as well as personal interviews.

  • william p. rowe

    CORRUPTION! The proposed purchase will be contracted with our superintendents former bosses company. Its another of a long list of unproven teacher evaluation programs.For years and years we have blamed our teachers for student grade level failure. Periodically we purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy teacher evaluation/merit pay programs which are abandoned and reinvented a few years later. Chicago took a 6 day teacher strike over this plan.The major cause of student grade level and behavior failure is impaired parental practices. Parents who love their children but need community (not public school) support.Our failure is in blaming teachers and a failure of educational leadership to identify the cause of student grade level failure.