Tagged: Chicago Charter Schools

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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