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Except for teacher preparation-related policies discussed in Question 6, there were simply no adequate studies available on the great majority of the specific recruitment strategies that have been employed by states and districts. Thus, the research provides no answers to any of the questions asked above. This is unfortunate given the importance of finding effective strategies for recruiting well-qualified individuals into the teaching profession and the significant resources that states and districts currently spend on their recruitment efforts.

This situation clearly calls for a recommendation to support and undertake more research on and rigorous evaluations of early recruitment efforts, loan forgiveness programs and the many other specific kinds of recruitment strategies that have been employed. Such research should include assessments of impact and enable policymakers and educators to determine, with confidence, (a) whether fewer of the target population would have gone into teaching had the programs and strategies in question not been in place and (b) whether any other specific program goals — such as recruitment into underserved schools or a minimum length of stay in the teaching profession — have been met.

On the other hand, given the relatively small cost of a few of these strategies and the significant expense and complexity involved in conducting an adequate impact study, it may be advisable to pursue these less-expensive programs, even in the absence of such a solid study, if there is any evidence, at all, to indicate their impact may be positive and no evidence to suggest it is likely to be negative.

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© 2005 Education Commission of the States