Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-8-2020


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Educational Studies (General Education)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Carol Parke

Committee Member

Rick McCown

Committee Member

Robert Snyder


hiring process, teacher selection, interviewing of teachers, interview process


The purpose of this study was to examine teacher selection through a survey of the top 100 elementary schools in Pennsylvania and analyzing commercially produced screening tools. In order to hire the most effective teachers, districts must pay attention to the characteristics they desire in a teacher and ensure that their measures are aligned with those qualities (Little, Goe, & Bell, 2009). This dissertation examines the teacher hiring practices in Brentwood Borough School District in Pennsylvania, in hopes of improving the current hiring process. The researcher developed two research questions to guide the study. The principal researcher used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to answer the following questions:

  1. What does research show about the uppermost characteristics of effective teachers?
  2. After surveying principals from the top 100 school districts in Pennsylvania, what researched based questions will they choose to be of most importance in selecting teacher candidates?

The literature on teacher hiring process, teacher effectiveness, and the findings from this research suggest that there is not one clear measure to predict teacher effectiveness during the interview process. Several commercial hiring tools were utilized by districts in their selection. While the research is specific to Brentwood Borough, the findings can be broadly applied to school districts who have an interest in changing their hiring process to acquire the most effective teachers. Ultimately, there is no one best tool when selecting teachers. As the findings throughout this dissertation suggest, there is not one selection tool or set of interview questions that consistently yield the most effective teachers. Each one comes with limitations and advantages that must be considered in concert with the district. To this end, districts must consider the outcomes, in addition to the literature, when creating the hiring process to meet the needs of their district. These findings contribute to the very limited research that has examined the hiring practices of principals and human resources departments for effective teachers.

This study investigates how the top principals from Pennsylvania rank researched based questions in order of importance, when interviewing teacher candidates. An online survey was conducted asking principals who currently serve in the top 100 elementary schools across Pennsylvania to rank 15 researched based questions in order of importance when interviewing teacher candidates. At the conclusion of the survey, the principals were also asked to volunteer for a follow up phone interview in order to investigate their hiring process further.