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Fulton school board talks new hires, charter success
by Bobby Tedder
January 24, 2014 03:37 PM | 991 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fulton County Schools’ officials continue to work on implementing the district’s new teacher hiring process.

The newfangled instructor selection model, set to debut this spring, was among a myriad of issues discussed during the board of education’s meeting at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School in Sandy Springs.

Of the more than 9,000 teachers who apply for employment with the district each year, less than 9 percent are actually hired.

“While the size of the applicant pool appears to be sufficiently large, its quality is unclear,” said Nathifa Carmichael, a manager in the district’s talent division.

Conceptually, the dynamic new model is designed to balance use of technology and professional judgment, Carmichael said.

On the human interaction side of things, a team of teacher selectors will be tasked with evaluating applicant submissions, assign quality scores and conduct phone interviews. Principals will ultimately select applicants and later conduct customized school-based exercises.

Meanwhile, the automated technology arm of the model will be counted on to filter out those applicants who do not meet professional qualifications and generate real-time data reports that highlight school-based preferences and needs.

“The benefits will be of [significant] consequence … highly effective teachers, increased student growth and achievement and teacher leader engagement,” Carmichael said.

In other business, district Superintendent Robert Avossa called the 2013-14 school year a critical one for dozens of schools in the charter system.

Twenty of the district’s schools — classified as Cohort 1 — have completed a “successful” transition to the new school governance model, he said.

School governance councils have approved strategic plans and developed proposals for innovative strategies to meet students’ needs. While Cohort 1 schools have been preparing proposals for seed fund money to implement the strategies, the current school year is a crucial planning year for the 37 Cohort 2 schools in the system.

“Increasing community engagement and involvement beyond just the school governance councils is critical to the success of the charter system,” said Avossa. “Communicating with district departments early and often as innovative ideas arise and change will [also] be critical.”

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