Wednesday, October 7 , 2015, 1:42 pm | Fair 75º

Santa Barbara Schools to Put New Teachers to the Test

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli |

The cost of hiring ineffective teachers in the Santa Barbara Unified School District is about $10,000 per person, according to Human Resources Director Margaret Christensen.

The district decided not to renew 12 teacher contracts last year and will not renew 15 this year, Christensen told the district's board of trustees at its most recent meeting.

“We need to get better at minimizing the risk of ineffective hires,” she said.

With that in mind, board members voted to contract with TeacherMatch LLC, which tests applicants on general intelligence — math and verbal skills — as well as teaching skill and attitudes toward teaching and learning.

The test service will cost $28,420 per year, which is significantly less than the $80,000 annual cost of replacing teachers now, Christensen said.

By making applicants take the Educator’s Professional Inventory test, the district will have a more objective way to identify the best candidates, she said.

Board president Kate Parker said she was glad it was just one way to differentiate between candidates.

She said she would be interested in having high-achieving teachers take it as well, just to see how they score.

Superintendent Dave Cash has made a point of interviewing all new staff members and making prospective teachers give demonstration lessons, while his predecessor, Brian Sarvis, hired teachers without seeing a lesson.

Christensen said the hiring process had improved a lot over the past two years, but still needs to get better.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

comments powered by Disqus

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.