Fishy Teachers “Matching” Site

As if some charter schools reputation wasn’t bad enough based on their shady accountability systems! Beware of a teachers recruiting system used by a couple of charter school networks in Chicago. TeacherMatch is the name of the company. They provide a tool to evaluate teachers as they apply for positions. It is called the Educator’s Professional Inventory (EPI). After the candidates have probably invested valuable time researching the position and uploading portfolio items, they are forced into a 100 multiple choice questionnaire so that the schools can, and I quote from their website,  “identify and hire the most effective teachers.” They claim that these 100 multiple choice questions are based on “influential research and predictive analytics” and that the system is “thoughtful and efficient” and “provides a fair, objective way to select teacher candidates and help you make the best hiring choices”. Furthermore, not to forget the money saving factor “EPI can help you save money and reduce the problems of turnover and hiring costs.” By now you probably want to know how that system actually works. First of all the candidates only get 2 minutes to respond to each one of those 100 questions. Most of them are really basic and can undoubtedly be responded in even less than those 2 minutes. Yet when it comes to the “no right or wrong real life scenarios” there might be times in which one would rather be conscientious and avoid a cliche answer. If it was true that through this process only “the most effective teachers” will be considered, what conscientious professional with real field experience would respond to some of these questions with the cliche answer? Sounds like a contradiction in terms. One of the problems is that even when one has already completed 90% proficiently, if they exceed by one second the 2 minute mark, after a couple of trials the whole teacher’s profile gets labelled as “in violation.” If you don’t want to have your name attached to such a poor linguistic choice and you request to have your profile removed from TeacherMatch, after 48 hours you will receive the following email message from a customer support specialist located in Dallas, TX: “We are sorry that you have decided to remove your account due to your violation status.” You just have to *love* that language: “violation status” no more no less! Just because you took a couple of extra seconds to respond to a real life scenario that you honestly needed to ponder. Furthermore just so you are aware of their *amazing* quality standards: “We hope you will appreciate the fact that our EPI  process has been designed to maintain our high standards of operations and security and the violation process is enforced to adhere to those standards.” This is starting to sound like an immigration fraud case. Really *great* linguistic choices coming from an organisation who claims to be able to select the highest quality human resources in education. Last but not least, you should dread your choice of deactivation since “due to your request, you will not be able to apply for any jobs via TeacherMatch platform.” As far as I know the charter networks that operate with this company are not even the most desirable places to work based on public reviews. The public records of some of the client schools so far are controversial at best and just plain dreadful in a few cases. Yet this is not the shadiest component of this selection process. Here is where I would need to conduct more research and I invite you to participate in this forum. For the ones who complete the 100 questions without doubting for one extra second, there is a PD purchase proposal. There is even a cart purchase icon, just like when you go on Amazon.com. My question is: Is anybody actually making a profit out of these candidates after they are put through the test? Is this service even legitimate or just a for profit scam? So far I haven’t had the patience to give it another try and respond fast with cliche answers and a bogus profile just to see where that “cart” takes you. Therefore I don’t know whether they are charging any money for a PD plan or referring candidates to vendors and getting a commission. If there was no monetary transaction involved, why would they misguide candidates with the cart icon? I guess if they feel entitled to misguide with their poor linguistic choices (“violation status” for thinking for a second too long) why not keeping the misguidance consistent throughout the whole process? If you want to give it a try and find out: TeacherMatch.

 

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53 comments

  1. persephonesmother

    My school district is looking at using this to find qualified teaching candidates. When I looked at their website, I don’t see any of the charter schools that you seem to know uses them. Can you tell which charter school uses this company?

      • persephonesmother

        It was approved at our last school board. I work in Vallejo, CA. The District spending over $36,000 a year on this program.

      • readforeign

        I really hope that it works out for you since that sounds like a huge investment. I’m not familiar with budgeting so I can’t tell whether it’s overpriced or not for what they offer. I’m still curious about how they take advantage of the PD feature. Since they have a ‘cart’ just like amazon.com I’m still wondering whether they are using it to sell PD opportunities to potential candidates. Education is in full convulsion right now. I grew up in the kind of European systems that are praised and used as models these days. One of the advantages of those so-called “effective” systems is stability as far as the fundamentals go. With a strong foundation, future academic endeavors will accommodate the demands of the emerging technologies and the prospects of the work market and/or higher education. In those praised systems consensus regarding the national curriculum, assessment, etc was supported by every local community. Energy and resources are not wasted with circumstantial bureaucracies. I’m seeing the opposite on this side of the ocean: constant experimentation, reform and changes that only benefit the ones that have something to sell. Examples (to mention just a few): The whole testing system corporate structure and so many other “business” opportunities that promise profound changes and never go anywhere because the next fad takes over before there is any chance for maturity and growth in the last new thing. Every new thing becomes obsolete as soon as a new fad is brought to the negotiating table. Someone other than the tax payers and communities always takes advantage of all this confusion and moves on to the next fair. I’m really concerned about all these frantic trends growing exponentially everywhere promising fast miracles, the all-in-one cure for all.

  2. Virginia rosemen

    I have contacted TeacherMatch several times to inquire about statistics that support the validity and reliability of the EPI and whether its use will contribute to adverse impact. I have requested information about the groups used to validate the test and whether these groups would be consistent with characteristics of an applicant pool. I have asked them to explain inferences make from this test, the constructs the test measures, and pricing to evaluate cost effectiveness. So far, I have been given none of this information and have been told that the validation process is highly confidential and specific information about this process could not be shared. This is a huge red flag. If they are unwilling to expose the most critical features of a selection test and provide statistical support to substantiate their claims, the use of this test could lead to a costly, ineffective waste of money as well as increased potential for legal exposure.

    • readforeign

      I’m happy that I published this post about my initial concerns and that I’m not the only one who finds the site suspicious at too many levels. I agree that the lack of transparency of this company even when faced with the most basic questions doesn’t help. I really appreciate your attention and your response.

      • Virginia roseman

        It is tempting to believe the claims made by savvy marketers, but consumers should beware if these claims cannot be backed by statistical data. It is very important that test users have a thorough understanding of the benefits and concerns involved in a selection test. It can be a great tool to enhance a company’s overall bottom line if it’s valid, reliable and can be trusted to do consistently what it claims it can do. If not, scored tests can be a big waste of time and money as well as increase a company’s susceptibility to challenges of adverse impact. I plan to continue my research of this test and will post significant findings.

      • readforeign

        Thank you so much. I’m not only concerned about the content of the test but about the way they time certain controversial questions. With “controversial” I mean the ones regarding context-specific situations that require analysis and reflection. If a candidate is really qualified to respond, they will need more than just a couple of minutes. Stereotypical answers to loaded questions can be provided in seconds. Yet an expert needs a little bit more than a couple of minutes to come up with a reasonable answer. I’m also concerned about the use of certain kinds of misleading language on the candidate’s profiles. If one exhausts those few minutes, the whole effort of entering the data and the detailed credentials gets labelled as “in violation.” I called them on that kind of misleading language among other things and their response never addressed that specific topic. We really need to expose this situation. Once again, thank you so much for your time investment.

  3. DS

    I really wish you had factual information about the website and the company as you are 100% incorrect with ALL of the “facts” you provided. Get your information straight.

    • readforeign

      @DS,
      You seem to disagree with the way we are questioning this company’s recruiting methods. In response to your request of “factual” information and in response to your claim that we are “incorrect” with ALL the “facts” that we provided: First of all, I don’t understand how anybody can be “incorrect” with facts. Maybe according to you we provided incorrect “statements” or our “judgement” is biased. In that case you would have to be more specific about exactly what is wrong with our statements. Facts per se can’t be correct or incorrect. Either they are facts or they are not facts. I don’t understand what you mean by being “incorrect” with facts. I reported everything I experienced first hand when I dealt with the test. I archived the email from the customer support specialist that I quote on my post for further reference (does that qualify as a fact to you?) Having used the testing interface myself and having taken notes about the way it works doesn’t add any judgmental dimension to my statements. Now if I said that in my opinion “this recruiting system is fishier than Jean-Baptiste Grenouille place of birth” you could definitely question me as inappropriate and opinionated. If you reread my post you will find out that ultimately all I am doing is inviting the public to give it a try for themselves and see how it works for them. The communication that I maintained and archived with the company didn’t accomplish my goal of obtaining a satisfactory answer to the PD cart interface. If you know the company better than we do and you have a more satisfactory response to our questions, please feel free to participate. Stating that something is wrong without any kind of supporting arguments doesn’t help anyone. Does it?

  4. Don Fraynd

    All – thank you for your interest and engagement with our Educators Professional Inventory (EPI). Several of the points being brought up here are inaccurate and I would welcome the chance to talk with you more about the research behind EPI and how the assessment works. Please feel free to email me directly at dfraynd@teachermatch.org to find a time to connect.

    Don Fraynd
    CEO
    TeacherMatch

    • readforeign

      Please feel free to correct any inaccuracies that you might have come accross on this thread. I really appreciate your attention. I’m not the only one who has had a horrible experience dealing with that portal and in a way we want to think that maybe we just did something wrong and there is hope after all. All I did on my post was document my horrible experience. Nobody can deny the fact that I had that kind of experience. The nature of EPI might be justified and rationalized. Yet that won’t change the nature of my experience with it. Educators are extremely busy people. Many of them invest more time working pro bono than the time they get paid to work. They are also very sensitive to misinformation about their qualifications and credentials because of the negative press that they have been dealing with in the last few years. Compiling a profile for that portal takes a long time. It’s a time investment that full time working professionals can hardly afford. If you sacrifice part of your Sunday to submit all those profile details, such as every college program you ever attended, dates, GPA, work experience, references, etc the last thing you deserve is the kind of treatment some of us ended up receiving. I agree that submitting credentials to any recruiting portal takes that much time. However this is the only one I ever came accross that flags the educators profile as “in violation” for taking a couple of extra minutes or even seconds to reflect on classroom management scenarios that might be much more complex than the pre-packaged answer from the most conventional compendium of classroom management techniques. I’m not trying to discredit the portal but to document a personal and therefore subjective experience. I’m open to clarifications about the EPI process but the email I received from one of the customer support specialists (a scripted response that didn’t address any of the points I made) was not satisfactory. I have no interest in discrediting anyone. My post documents my experience and asks for help finding answers to questions.

    • Virginia roseman

      Thank you for your offer to discuss the EPI and how the assessment works. In doing so, would you please address the following questions which SIOP (Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists) recommends a potential user ask any vendor before purchasing a testing product:

      1.) What does the test measure? It is difficult to develop a good quality test without a clear definition of what is to be measured.

      2.) What research and process were used to develop the test?
      Four methods or strategies of validation have been recognized as appropriate to validate measures
      used in personnel decision making which involve content, concurrent, predictive and construct validity.
      It may be safe to suggest that content validity is likely not one strategy that was used to validate the EPI
      because your website describes this as simply asking principals to identify “good teachers, then asking questions
      about the qualities that make a good teacher, identifying themes, and building an assessment around
      those themes – a process “based wholly on perception. as opposed to actual student growth”.

      3.) What evidence do you have related to the reliability of the test?
      Reliability refers to the consistency of test results.

      4.) What evidence do you have related to the validity of this test?
      Validity refers to the accuracy of the inferences made based on test results (e.g. how accurate is it to say that a higher
      test score indicates a person is more likely to be a better performer?) What evidence do you have to support this claim?

      5.) What evidence do you have that demonstrates the lack of bias or discrimination of your test?

      6.) What evidence do you have that will help me interpret test scores in a particular school district?
      What information do you have about the norm group used to validate the test so it may be used to compare to
      the group for which the test will be used. Do you have expectancy charts, cut scores?

      While experienced and knowledgeable test publishers are (and are happy to provide) information on the validity of their testing products, I have asked many of these questions before only to be told that the information is highly confidential.

      Again, thank you for your willingness to discuss how the EPI works, it is greatly appreciated if you will address these common and realistic questions about your product.

      Thank you,

      Virginia Roseman

      • Virginia roseman

        I have received no feedback or response to my request for information dated October 15. Many questions remain: Are their statistics, available for review, that support TeacherMatch’s claim that it can predict teacher effectiveness; and its claim that, “if a state certifies and districts consistently hire highly ranked TeacherMatch EPI teachers, they can expect student growth outcomes to outpace their current level of student achievement”? Are there statistics that support the validity, reliability, utility, and predictive capacity of the EPI? Are there statistics that show how the EPI measures and scores teacher effectiveness and student achievement and the correlation between the two? Without clear, concise information and psychometric data to support TeacherMatch’s assertions, it is impossible to consider seriously the use of the EPI as an effective hiring tool.

  5. readforeign

    I invited Don Fraynd to correct any inaccuracies that I might have incurred. I believe that since my post was based on a bad experience and there is not such a thing as an “inaccurate” experience, there wasn’t really much to correct. I have the feeling that the CEO would rather address the issues through individual emails. I was hoping to read a public response that addressed our concerns and those of the ones who have been following this discussion without participating. Yet after all this time, I’m starting to believe that that’s not going to happen. Maybe the only way will be to -once again- ask for information through the available email and report the conclusions in public forums. Everybody has the right to understand, especially the candidates to teaching positions that invest hours filling that application in full detail only to have their valuable time dishonored. The candidate teacher’s mistake consisted on thinking for a couple of extra seconds in order to deliver a quality answer -versus a prepackaged manufactured and predictable one- to some of those 100 questions. Insult to injury would be an understatement when that happens after the candidate is almost done with the test and their whole profile is labelled as “in violation”. That in itself is a terrible linguistic choice that nobody who has even taken a 101 class in Basic Pragmatic Linguistics would ever make. Isn’t that colossal HR etiquette faux pas more deserving of “in violation” of appropriate linguistic choices than the couple of extra seconds needed to come up with a standardized test choice for teachers?

  6. Tim Furman (@tbfurman)

    I keep checking back here to see if there are any updates. I live in Chicago, and because I’m interested in what eventually happens to the administrators who cycle in and out of Chicago Public Schools like hotel guests— Don Fraynd being one of them– I’d like to keep hearing about people’s experience with this obvious snake oil. When TeacherMatch finally tanks, I want to let people know. I was there when Fraynd presided over the community “hearings” to close Crane High School, and my general impression is that he was part of an administration that should be charged with crimes against humanity. If you gave me ten minutes, I could come up with a 10-question test that would filter out these parasitic insider “edu-prenuers” and the world would be a better place.

    • readforeign

      I’m not familiar with all the issues involved in school closings. I understand how strong you feel against many of the behind the scenes procedures. “Crimes against humanity” is a really strong expression that I personally wouldn’t use. Yet I understand that it comes from a place of utter frustration, a place of powerlessness where many teaching professionals are stuck in these days. It’s really hard to be stuck in a world that the powers that be refuse to understand. I used to teach. I have been exposed to all kinds of hideous environments in which the very last to be blamed for the situation should be the teacher. Yet every methodological approach from the higher ups seems to consist in questioning the teachers. I have compared a variety of European school systems (since that’s where I grew up) with what I have experienced in the US throughout my 15 years of teaching experience. At this point I have to say that I’m clueless as of the future of education in this country. Unfortunately we are preaching to the choir and that’s why I don’t expect much activity on this blog. Ultimately the ones who can escape teaching will do so under the circumstances. Lately I have seen too many teachers working on their type 75. I don’t blame them. All many of them ever prepared themselves for is a career in education and it is becoming more and more physically and psychologically damaging to stay in the classroom and be the permanent target of scrutiny, volatile overnight decisions, changes within changes and tweaks within tweaks before giving anything a chance to work or fail. Everybody feels threatened. I don’t think that turning tables and getting a type 75 is the answer to anything. Yet that’s what a lot of people are doing. The last administration I have witnessed was headed by a former teacher from the very same facility who didn’t seem to really enjoy the classroom experience in the building a few years ago. Now it’s time to harass others for not accomplishing unreasonable mandates. Their only way out. Saddening.

      • AK

        I just took the TeacherMatch EPI and I feel violated. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed in, as per the request of the district that I am applying with. There was no warning that this inventory to match teachers with placements was actually going to be more of an ability test. Once you log on you can’t log off or you’ll be in violation and cut off from using the service again for a year (And, therefore, cannot apply in that district again during that time). I have two young children, and finding a distraction free 90 minutes is hard enough but I had no idea that I would truly not be able to pause for a minute or risk being ” timed out!” So, I go to school for years, prove myself through numerous experiences in the field and in the classroom, pass several preservice exams, only to have this test determine whether or not I get an interview opportunity! I’m at a loss as to what to do about this…

      • readforeign

        Dear AK, I understand how you’re feeling as you can tell from my original post. I wrote that post because I honestly believe that this recruiting system can create more problems than it can solve. The CEO of TeacherMatch provided his email for further inquiries somewhere on this thread. I appreciate that he offered his email. Yet we need to remain clear about the main issues involved in using the system, regardless of the administration’s rational behind it. First of all, let us not accept pre-packaged cliche answers. Let’s be ready to deconstruct any argument that relies on fallacies regarding teachers adequacy, etc. I haven’t seen an in-depth discussion about this and other similar “one-size-fits-all” recruiting and evaluating methods in the media at large. Let’s keep in mind that many of these for-profit attempts to take advantage of the chaotic situation that our educational system is facing don’t have the most intellectually honest ideas in mind when selling their products. They are not in the business of finding the “truth” in philosophical discourse. Their bottom line is money. It is our mission to deconstruct fallacies. You can’t create an automated system to beat the capacity of the human mind at that level. If this helps you a bit, let me add that I know people who put up with the TeacherMatch process only to end up stuck in really questionable Charter School models. Regardless of the frustration caused by TeacherMatch, make sure that the school you are planning to interview with is even worth your efforts. I won’t name the specific charter networks but there are two out there that have excruciatingly poor faculty and parent reviews. They recruit with TeacherMatch. I know 2 of those teachers. One of them had given up on the public school system and wanted to give a charter network a chance only to realize that the challenges, which are mainly socio-economic in nature, haven’t changed. It’s up to the social fabric at large to modify those socio-economic conditions that might be affecting achievement gaps. The automated TeacherMatch system won’t help find any miracle cure for that. Furthermore the schools where those 2 teachers I mentioned work have less redeeming qualities as far as certain kinds of benefits that teachers used to obtain in the public school system. Last but not least, in many cases they are working with even less resources because of the covert profit-first approach in some of those establishments. There has been a few scandals already. More and more qualified faculty are changing careers. The ones who can’t figure out how to do anything other than teaching or working in education are enrolling in Type 75 programs to become principals. I anticipate a work division ratio of 20 principals to supervise 1 teacher left in this slowly but surely coming up exodus. For what I see you have enough credentials to pursue employment opportunities in the kind of reputable district that doesn’t need to resort to recruitment services like the ones offered by TeacherMatch. Another way would be for TeacherMatch to listen to our multiple complaints and do something to improve their system.

  7. pamjoy

    I got kicked off the TeacherMatch Base Inventory the other day because I took too long to answer one question that — like many others — didn’t have an adequately nuanced answer option. This was after logging almost an hour on the test. Columbus (OH) City Schools requires this series of hoops for anyone who wishes to teach in their system. Color me skeptical about the whole enterprise — but I need the gig, so I’ve blocked out another 90 minutes to try to endure this again.

  8. Shari

    I took the inventory the other day as part of the application process for a local district. As a 24 year teaching veteran (18 in the classroom with time away for child rearing), I was disgusted, frustrated, and disappointed with the questions!
    Our local school district (where my kids go, and where I would like to return) is looking at purchasing TeacherMatch. I am speaking at the school board meeting tomorrow evening in STRONG disapproval.
    A timed test that has questions volleying between subjects along with a question that asks if I “strongly agree-agree-neither agree or disagree-disagree-strongly disagree” with picking up hitch hikers is ridiculous!

    • readforeign

      The saddest part is that some of the candidates who go through the pain of faking phony answers in order to make it through the test on time end up placed in schools that are terrible fits for them. These days I’m witnessing more and more people quitting the profession. It is an impossible combination of demonizing public education and trying to profit from chaos with all kinds of fraudulent short-cuts. Here in Chicago it’s just a group of charter school networks that have adopted the TeacherMatch method. I haven’t heard anything good about any of those charter schools yet. Who would want to work there? When I took a closer look at it, I realized that there was absolutely no point in pursuing this recruiting method, especially considering the places that you might end up working if you made it through this phony repertoire. In this day and age, there isn’t a genuine discussion about how to improve systems. It seems to be a bunch of people taking ineffective short-cuts to use schools as a trampoline into higher ranks in the bureaucracy. By the time everybody realizes what a poor agenda they implemented, they are already rehired with honors somewhere else. It was all appearances in the first place. That is the kind of bureaucracy that should be questioned, not the teachers. Teachers are too busy, and in many cases entirely demoralized, to push back. To make things even harder there are cohorts of former teachers who became principals believing that, under the circumstances, it would be easier to supervise than to be supervised. Many of those, probably out of fear to lose their acquired status, refuse to start a genuine conversation. They just walk around with narrow-minded check-lists that can’t possibly evaluate the complexity of the educational process. The economy still needs to stabilize before we see a bigger exodus of teachers. We are starting to see glimpses of the results of this feeding frenzy though. As I said, lately I’ve seen a lot of people quitting and some even moving to other countries to teach international baccalaureate programs, where they can be respected and appreciated.

  9. Thomas J. Mertz

    I am a Board Member in a district considering this product. I have repeatedly asked for their research and predictive validity studies. They will not provide more than selected data and graphs. Even if I thought placing predictions of value added scores based on a questionnaire near the center of the hiring process and professional development was a good idea (I do not), I would not do so without reviewing the evidence that the product does what they claim. I amazed that other districts have done so.

    • readforeign

      One thing I know for sure is that it creates animosity among good willing teaching candidates. The system doesn’t seem to be well thought and the process can be irresponsible to say the least. I haven’t tried it for a couple of years. Yet the way I remember it is that the candidates had to invest countless hours finding and updating all kinds of data and records (education, employment, teaching credentials, etc). That is common among recruiting systems and definitely justified and necessary. The problem is that by the time they got to the “famous” test and they realized that it was questionable (at best) the time spent doing the above was perceived as time wasted. Many teachers already feel like their time is not respected like in other professions. I familiarized myself with one of the schools who purchased this system. The school as such had a great educational agenda and I had a clear affinity with their creative approach. Yet not much later I heard that the school was going through all kinds of credibility tests in the community. They changed their administration around that time. Some parents were writing mixed reviews, mostly negative. The fact that, on top of all that, the school adopted this method made them lose credibility to my eyes. I gave up on them.

    • Veronika Delvaux (@VDelvo)

      Mr. Mertz, did your district adopt the test? I took it two day’s ago. I find the test results very confusing at best. I although scored according to their report PDR report way above the national norm group…. but what does it mean?

    • PJ

      My district just adopted this program and I can safely say that based on the needs of the district, they’re a perfect fit. My district feels a strong need to eliminate any and all transparency and shift things around behind the scenes so they can exclude who they want and promote who they want, qualified or not. This system allows them to do it perfectly, with only ‘pool’ positions being listed and no actual positions listed. So no one, outside of people already in the system or with insider information, will ever have any idea of what positions are available. You just have to put your name in and hope someone contacts you. And based on a lot of the sleazy you-know-what that goes on where I live, including a recent shifting of Media Specialists all over the place in a way that’s extremely suspicious, I know exactly why they purchased this system.

      • readforeign

        PJ, unfortunately cases like the one you’re sharing today probably abound. Otherwise a service like the one we are discussing on this thread might have a hard time surviving.

      • Virginia (Ginger) Roseman MA, SPHR

        “Seek Proof” – If an employee selection assessment does what it claims to do there should be statistical evidence to support its claims. This refers to proof of its validity. Many assessments are not valid but are used because they are perceived to be. Without statistical proof of validity, invalid employee assessments turn fiction into fact and represent expensive, time consuming, and ineffective hiring methods that do little more than line the pockets of those who market and sell them.

        The Department of Labor has an excellent guideline for evaluating employee selection tests. This document is “Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices, and can be found at: uniformguidelines.com/testassess.pdf.
        Chapter 5 of this document specifically refers to standards for evaluating tests and page 7 of this chapter includes a detailed checklist that can be used to help guide one through this process. I would recommend that this be referenced before any decision is made to commit to a test, especially one that lacks statistical validity evidence to support the claims it makes.

        Virginia (Ginger) Roseman
        Strategic Talent Assessments, LLC

  10. Don

    Thank you for posting this. Miami Dade County Public Schools has just adopted (purchased access to?) Teacher Match. I just found out about the assessment, which is required for hire, and was doing some research to find out more about EPI. This entire thread is a huge eye-opener, and says more about the lack of understanding from administrations that purchase TeacherMatch, than it does regarding the quality educators the company claims to secure. It only makes sense that an educational system preoccupied with testing, would use the same type of senseless evaluation to screen candidates. Very sad state of affairs. I will do my best to keep to the 2 mins/question! Wish me luck.

    • Dom

      I too am applying to MDC-PS through their new Teacher Match hiring process. I have completed all parts of the application with exception of the EPI, which I thought to research first. In the meantime I have received an email stating that I have successfully applied for the position. Is it really necessary to take the inventory test?

      • readforeign

        Interesting. When I took the inventory test, it seemed to be a requirement. I gave up on the system a couple of years ago for the reasons I mentioned on the post. Plus I’ve witnessed much more effective methods for a very small fraction of the cost of TeacherMatch. I’m not caught up with any improvements that might have been made to the system (if any).

    • Emily

      I also found out MDCPS has this new hiring process and took the inventory test when creating a profile. I don’t see anywhere where I can see what score I received. However, I was told by a principal that they’ve been instructed to ignore anyone that scores under 50. What made the test more frustrating for me was the fact that most of the questions are similar to the ones in the exams for certifications. It makes no sense when you’ve already taken a $200 test for each area you are certified, an additional $75 to put it on the certificate and then have to sit here and take an inventory test. If the state deemed you worthy of a certification in an area, shouldn’t that be enough??

  11. MG

    I just took the test, and the teaching questions were similar to the general certification exam in my state. For many of them, you have to answer multiple-choice questions based on a short description of a scenario. Others questions are more theoretical. On the situational questions, I wasn’t always certain I was choosing the answer they want, but I didn’t think any of the questions were unreasonable.
    More concerning for me was the number of questions focused on substitute teaching. Did anyone else notice a large percentage of those?

    • readforeign

      They might have tweaked the test since the time I took it. The substitute related questions don’t ring a bell. I must have forgotten a lot. My concern about most school districts is how detached from real situations many of the qualifying questions are. Although the scenarios might well be based on the experiences of actual teachers, our reality is so much more complex and hard to evaluate fairly and in depth that I’m still waiting for much more creative ways to approach it. Teachers are expected to be off the charts creative these days. Yet they are being judged by the most conservative and dull tools in the market. It ends up being the decission of a bunch of bureaucrats who managed to escape the teaching profession, in many cases because they couldn’t handle it. Now they get to make the decisions instead of having someone evaluating them. Fortunately not everyone wants to become a bureaucrat. Some people want to be teachers and it’s sad that the key role in education is being mismanaged since the earliest stages with little phoney scenarios and cliché questions. I only hope that Teachers Match got it together since the last time I tried and modified some of the intimidating language they used in the past.

  12. droopdog71

    Came across this thread after taking the EPI yesterday. I agree with the original sentiment, in that the overall experience was awful. And this ignores being blindsided by a test that I did not know was coming.

    I may be slow, but I do not exaggerate when I say I spent about 4 hours completing the entire application. Having to enter attachments is fine but the system was incredibly buggy. I had to punch in every other letter two or three times to get it to register. Scrolling was terrible and the format was almost as bad.

    In terms of the test, I am not sure what to say. The restrictions are pretty bad, as has been stated, but I thought many of the questions were equally bad. And in my case, with only one day remaining before the application closed, I had no choice but to complete the thing.

    Overall, just a bad experience with a terrible system.

    • readforeign

      And wait until you find out that most of the school districts that you actually WANT to work with DON’T use TeacherMatch. The school districts that we want to work with know better than to use something as ideologically obsolete as TeacherMatch. Unless you get hired for the specific position that you are applying to right now, all the time you put into this profile is a complete and total waste.

  13. sim mon

    I am a recent college graduate applying in the Osceola school district and went through the TeacherMatch platform. What a slap in the face! After 4 years of research, service learning and self reflection; $480 on a battery of certification exams which I passed on the first attempt; $225 to apply for my certification, including endorsements; and 1 very long year of UNPAID internship where I was evaluated by my supervising teacher and university coordinator, I am now reduced to a score.
    As was stated before, the EPI was horrendous. The scenario questions required more than the 75 seconds given to contemplate. I just called them and requested a copy of my EPI results since they do not put that on the user dashboard. Not only did I get my scores (which are nationally norm referenced), I actually got a full report of my strengths and areas to work on. It also gave information on creating a PDP, based on my results, to work on for a 12 month period (I am assuming this means that I cannot improve my scores or my profile within that time frame). While a PDP is great, how is that going to help improve my odds of getting a job now in this school district? I am a single mother with 2 children and I do not have 12 more months to reflect, especially after 12 months of UNPAID internship. I need to start working ASAP.
    This whole experience has shown me how much our education system has become even more score driven.

    • readforeign

      The current paradigm is a misguided narrow-minded fad borrowed from other disciplines, yet highly counterproductive in education. Bureaucracy tends to perpetuate itself one fad at a time. They will all fail systematically. It’s always a matter of time. In the meantime the shortsighted will miss out on brilliant opportunities to recruit valuable professionals. Ultimately we are failing our children and by doing so we’re failing ourselves and our future while dubious enterprises like TeacherMatch fill their pockets. Sad.

  14. MJatFB

    Wow. I am feeling very stifled after reading these posts. I’ve had an application submitted with the Charleston County (SC) School District for about a month, successfully applied for a couple of positions and recently got an e-mail that the TeacherMatch test is now required. Of course, I started researching it before attempting it and am now so skeptical. I’m trying to enter teaching through an alternative certification program – having never taught before an without a teaching degree – so this kind of “assessment” sounds very daunting. Posts are very helpful and I’ll report back after taking it – if I actually do. RE readforeign, I definitely get the impression you don’t like this test (haha) and I noticed that Frayn offered to answer individually but I agree that he should address these matters either here on at their website. It sounds so sketchy and the school system here is fairly notorious for being lousy, now paying this third party company to do what…not sure.

  15. Nate L.

    I just took the TeacherMatch EPI and likewise felt very pressured to answer questions on time versus thoughtfully considering each scenario as I depended mostly on my understanding of the English language. I won’t post my score here, but if that number out of 100 is the only thing the district is considering, I feel insulted that I chose this walk of life only to feel like I’m flunking out because I didn’t read Bloom’s Taxonomy like a bible ten years ago. I seriously hope that Teacher Match gets more negative reviews and HR takes the time to actually get to know people! Sadly, that’s not the way the money goes. I get many compliments as a sub for being energetic and devoted by students and teachers alike and that matters more than how many questions I got right out of 100 and letting that number be my percentage/grade. I wish everyone who chose to be an educator not only gets the job they know they honestly deserve, and I’m sad this company gets to decide who’s “good” by a test that most people honestly are not, and should not, be expected to ace on a whim.

    • Mag

      I just took the EPI test and was timed out of it and can’t take it again until a year from now. English is my second language and some of those words were so hard for me to understand and decide for the correct answer. I was just applying for an Spanish teaching position, not to teach English at the University level…

  16. Coojo

    I was just about to take it when something told me to google it first. Now that I have stumbled upon this thread, I will hold off taking it until I absolutely have no other choice. In the meantime, it looks as if EPI is no longer a requirement or so that is what the temp agency is saying.

  17. Amanda

    I just did this assessment. I cannot see the correlation between the answers to these questions and the effectiveness of a teacher. I am also a doctoral candidate.

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