Interest in understanding how principals and school districts hire teachers has increased as empirical evidence on teacher effectiveness has grown. Case studies suggest late hiring timelines are pervasive in large urban school districts and result in the loss of more qualified teachers to surrounding suburbs.
Vanderbilt University professor Mimi Engel undertook the first empirical estimate of the relationship between the timing of teacher hires and teacher qualifications. Using the 1999-2000 SASS, she finds that urban and low SES districts make over half of their teacher hires late. However, analyses find no relationship between timing and teacher qualifications including selectivity of university attended, certification, and master’s degree. Null results persist across multiple specifications and subgroup analyses.