Objectively determine which teacher and principal candidates make the grade
To maximize student achievement, few K-12 decisions are more important than hiring the right teachers and principals. That’s why PeopleAdmin designed the Educators Professional Inventory (EPI), a pair of first-of-their-kind screening and hiring instruments that use thousands of data points, collected over time, to help school and district leaders identify top teacher and principal candidates.
The Teacher EPI and Principal EPI use candidates’ answers to assessment questions to measure each candidate’s strengths in key areas known to influence teacher and principal effectiveness, then helps match candidate characteristics to school and classroom needs. This gives school and district leaders an objective analysis of applicants and a prediction of how they’ll impact student achievement, which — alongside their own observations and instincts — hiring managers can use to identify best-fit educators.
Based on research compiled in collaboration with a research consortium that includes the Northwest Evaluation Association, the University of Chicago, and other highly regarded institutions and experts, EPI assessments deliver data-based, educated insights to help school leaders make simpler, more objective hiring decisions.
FEATURES & BENEFITS
Valuable insights into candidate’s strengths
Save hours of time reviewing stacks of resumes, and ensure you never miss quality candidates at the bottom.
Empower reviewers to focus on top candidates first, engage them, and reduce risk of a lost opportunity.
Offer reliable information to help make and defend hiring decisions, powered by research from a team of highly skilled psychometricians, predictive modeling specialists, and Ph.D.s from various disciplines.
Integrate with leading applicant tracking solutions, so reviewers can easily access complete candidate information.
Take the guesswork out of teacher candidate screening by measuring applicants’ cognitive abilities, attitudinal factors, qualifications, and teaching skills … using the Teacher EPI.
Help district officials objectively screen principal candidates by measuring applicants’ leadership dispositions, ability to handle principal responsibilities, and leadership skills … using the Principal EPI.
“PeopleAdmin’s Principal EPI is a tremendous tool in the creation of our administrative candidate pools. Being able to analyze the Principal Responsibilities, Leadership Dispositions, and the Leadership Case Study has given our executive team another solid set of data points to make more informed hiring decisions for each of our campus leadership positions.”
“We have found the EPI assessment to be incredibly insightful and essential in making informed decisions as part of our hiring process.”
Unique solutions that work in similar ways
Online assessment for applicants: After applying for a position, applicants receive an email asking them to complete an online assessment — 100 questions for teachers, 120 questions for principals.
Behind-the-scenes analysis: The EPI instruments compare each applicant’s answers to thousands of data points to measure that applicant’s likely impact on student growth.
Instant results: On the administrative end, applicants’ scores are instantly available, sorted and rank-ordered with other applicants so it’s easy to quickly identify who is most likely to have the best impact on student outcomes.
Assessment Development: Policies and Procedures
Like many computer-based assessment programs, EPI assessments are not immune to dishonesty or other fraudulent assessment activities of examinees, which can, not only compromise the integrity of the assessment and its validity, but also negate the many hours and dollars expended to bring each assessment to fruition. Further, while even dishonest candidates must master the required objectives in order be successful, since only a sample of the knowledge, skills, and abilities can be measured in any given assessment, the exact items and tasks used in the assessments need to be secured to the greatest degree possible.
To help ensure the integrity of EPI assessments, test candidates must follow the testing rules outlined below:
- Candidates may not use recording devices, such as paper/pencil, cameras, computers, or communication devices, such as cell phones.
- Candidates must read and accept the terms of the non-disclosure agreement presented prior to the start of any EPI assessment.
- Candidates must not reproduce exam content outside of the testing area.
- Candidates must abide by the terms of the retake policy.
- Candidates found to have violated these rules may lose any existing assessment scores and may be made permanently ineligible for additional assessments.
The maximum time allowed for an EPI assessment is 90 minutes, and each item has a stipulated time limit of 75 seconds. Test candidates must respond to each item within its stipulated time limit, and they must answer all of the items in one sitting.
The following guidelines apply:
- You are not able to skip questions.
- Make sure that you have a stable and reliable internet connection.
- Do not close your browser or hit the “back” button on your browser.
- Make sure that you have at least 90 minutes of uninterrupted time to complete an EPI assessment.
Scoring and Interpretation
The number of points possible for an EPI assessment varies, and each item is scored against the end-result of a set of independent tasks within the assessment. While some items may involve more tasks than others (e.g., matching, ordering, labeling), because all tasks are scored independently, candidates are scored on their total assessment score rather than on a pass/fail basis per item. Essentially the score is based on the number of “measurement opportunities” within the assessment as defined by the test blueprint.
EPI assessments are norm-referenced: Assessment scores return an estimate of the position of a test candidate within the population of total test takers, with respect to the domain being measured. Since the total number of points possible for EPI assessments differ across domains (e.g., Attitudinal items are scored using a rating scale; Cognitive Ability and Teaching Skills items are scored on a dichotomous scale), and the number of items within each domain varies, PeopleAdmin implements scale scores in order to place them on the same metric. Placing scores on the same metric allows equal comparisons of test scores across domains, as well as alternate forms of each assessment.
Scores are based on a normal distribution that range from 0-100. Ninety-nine percent of candidates’ scores range from 20-80, with an average (mean) score of 50, and a standard deviation (SD) of 10.
Figure 1. Normal distribution with a mean score of 50 and standard deviation of 10. Sixty-eight percent of candidate scores will fall between 40-60.
Grievance Policy and Procedures
PeopleAdmin is committed to developing assessments that operate as fair, valid, and reliable measures of competency and meet applicable professional standards of test development and administration. In keeping with this commitment it is PeopleAdmin’s desire to comply with these standards, and apply policies and processes to ensure that all test candidates are treated fairly and impartially.
If a candidate has a technical problem with an assessment, PeopleAdmin technical support is the first point of contact. PeopleAdmin will review all technical test incident issues and provide appropriate feedback to the candidate whenever possible. In the event that an assessment crashes, PeopleAdmin will troubleshoot the issue and may ask the candidate to restart the assessment, which will automatically return the candidate to the last recorded item. Since data are saved at one-item intervals, candidates will not need to repeat items. Candidates have three attempts to complete the assessment (i.e., “three strikes you’re out”), before a violation is issued preventing them from completing the assessment.
PeopleAdmin technical support is not authorized to remedy any substantive concerns including the following:
- Item scoring
- Item content
- Candidate responses to assessment items
- Assessment timing; additional time cannot be added to an assessment
Consequently, if PeopleAdmin technical support is unable to satisfy a candidate’s concern, PeopleAdmin support staff will direct the candidate to PeopleAdmin management. Issues/complaints will be logged and processed in a timely manner. Candidate complaints will be managed on either an informal or formal basis depending on the nature of the issue. Complaints must be received within three business days of the date the relevant assessment was administered.
If PeopleAdmin technical support fails to satisfy a candidate’s concern, the PeopleAdmin research staff will investigate each complaint and propose a resolution.
- Item bias
- Scoring of a particular item
- Understanding/clarity of a particular item
- Validity of a particular item (item content, methods of completion)
PeopleAdmin technical support will send an email message to the complainant candidate summarizing and confirming the identified complaint.
PeopleAdmin staff will also summarize the candidate’s complaint in an email to the assessment content manager along with the following information:
- Candidate name and identification number
- Form number of the assessment
- Date the assessment was taken
- Assessment score and result
- Number of attempts
- A concise description for the assessment content at issue
- A concise rationale summarizing the item or assessment result at issue
Once the complaint is received, PeopleAdmin management will:
- Make a determination whether the item content or scoring was appropriate
- Make a determination as to whether a score change will be awarded
- Prepare a formal response to the test candidate complaint
- Forward the response to the individual who initiated the complaint
Communication with the candidate regarding the clarification of the complaint and the resolution of the complaint will be handled exclusively by PeopleAdmin management.
PeopleAdmin will investigate and resolve each complaint within 10 business days of its receipt.
In the interest of assessment security, PeopleAdmin will only disclose its findings or reasoning for its determinations to the complaint candidate and partner district if the PeopleAdmin staff deems it appropriate, including whether altering the score on the contested item affected the outcome.
Since all items are reviewed for clarity, accuracy, and bias prior to the release of the assessment, the PeopleAdmin manager’s decision will be regarded as final and no further evaluation will occur.
Accommodations of Disabilities
As a provider of fair, valid, and reliable assessments, it is the philosophy of PeopleAdmin that anyone with the desire should have the opportunity to assess their knowledge and ability through testing. PeopleAdmin, accordingly, embraces the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as well as the regulations and guidelines selected to effectuate its goals.
In keeping with this commitment, PeopleAdmin has taken steps and, on an ongoing basis, will explore expansions and refinements of its products and services to enable even greater numbers of test candidates with documented disabilities (those recognized under the ADA) to register for and take assessments.
Currently, supported accommodations include:
- Extended test time
- Proctor-read assessments
- Screen-reader accessibility
Under ADA guidelines, PeopleAdmin is entitled to advance notification of requests for accommodation(s) as well as a reasonable amount of time to review and implement such requests. PeopleAdmin is not obligated, moreover, to accommodate candidates with language limitations unrelated to a documented disability (i.e.; English as a Second Language, literacy, etc.), nor to provide unlimited time for the completion of tests that are designed to assess not only knowledge but also efficiency in responding to assessment items. Candidates who wish to register for accommodation must work directly with the hiring district. Please do not submit requests for accommodation directly to PeopleAdmin.
Disclosure of Test Data
To protect the value of secured assessments whose psychometric integrity depends upon candidates not having prior access to test materials and vital test information, disclosure of test data is based on certain ethical and legal obligations to do so. As such, PeopleAdmin takes appropriate steps to prevent the misuse of assessment data, and maintain the confidentiality of candidate assessment scores.
PeopleAdmin does not disclose individual candidate data to third parties. Individual candidate data and aggregate reports are generated based on the following hierarchy:
Candidates: Individual access to professional development reports is available to the candidate and partner districts. Accesses to item-level data are not disclosed to individual test candidates.
Administrators: Access to candidate grid reports are available – including individual candidates’ scores by domain. Results are summarized by groups of test candidates. Accesses to item-level data are not disclosed to partner districts.
The purpose of the PeopleAdmin retake policy is to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect assessment content, by minimizing the number of occasions a test candidate may take an assessment.
Retake policies are as follows:
- Immediate retakes are not allowed.
- Candidates who have “timed out” cannot resume their assessment without permission from PeopleAdmin.
- Candidates who have “timed out” and receive permission from PeopleAdmin for an assessment reset, can resume their assessment within 24 business hours. They will begin their assessment after the last completed item and cannot change answers to previously scored items.
- Candidates who close their web browser and log back into the system, may be in violation of the time-out policy and must contact PeopleAdmin for an assessment reset.
- Anyone completing an assessment must wait a minimum of six months before reopening their eligibility status. Once a candidate’s eligibility status is reopened, they may take a new assessment.
- The new form scores will not replace previous scores; rather, a second score report will be made available showing the candidate’s most recent test score.
- A candidates’ full history of assessment scores will be made available to districts and displayed on the candidate profile page.
- If caught violating the Non-Disclosure Agreement, the candidate will be permanently ineligible for any PeopleAdmin assessment.
EPI Examination Blueprint
Domain I. Attitudinal Dispositions
Attitudinal dispositions are the values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own personal growth.
Competencies and Objectives:
Measures a candidate’s propensity to act with compassion and cooperation towards others; including, altruism, empathy, trust, warmth, and having an optimistic view of human nature.
Measures a candidate’s attitude towards the teaching profession; including their sense of identification, development, and active involvement in individual career goals.
- Career identity
- Career expectations
- Career planning
- Career resiliency
Measures a candidate’s propensity to act with caution, orderliness, and self-control, while feeling a sense of responsibility for doing right by others.
4) Expectations of Students
Measures a candidate’s capacity to anticipate the relative quality of students’ future performance; including challenging students, overcoming biases, and demonstrating sensitivity toward individual differences.
- Appreciates importance of expectations
- Challenges all students
- Overcomes expectation bias
- Self-directed learning
Measures a candidate’s ability to express energy, positive emotions, assertiveness, talkativeness, and sociability.
- Action orientation/impulsivity
- Interaction preference/style
6) Learning Orientation
Measures a candidate’s ability to learn from successes/failures and change behavior accordingly, pursue learning opportunities even when outside of their comfort zone, look for ways to build challenge and add value in their role, and stay abreast of new technologies and discoveries that impact their work.
- Life-long learner
- Goal oriented
- Self-driven/able to stretch
- View of others’ innate ability and growth capacity
- View of personal innate ability and growth capacity
Measures a candidate’s ability to interpret situations and information objectively when stressed, remain calm and professional in potentially volatile interactions, maintain high productivity and performance in stressful situations, and view failures objectively while rebounding quickly.
- Commitment and follow-through
- Executive function
- Work ethic and endurance
8) Life Satisfaction
Measures a candidate’s overall perception of being happy with one’s own life and a belief that one’s life is on the right track; including, health, income, job, daily activities, and family.
- Perception of past
- Perception of present
- Perception of future
Measures a candidate’s attitude and disposition toward solving problems with what they have, and doing more with less. Resourceful teachers control events that affect them, are persistent yet open minded, and consider new possibilities as they emerge.
- Locus of control
- Social support
Measures a candidate’s belief in their ability to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific student performance outcomes. It reflects a teacher’s confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.
- Challenge orientation/responsibility
- Locus of control
- Measure of one’s own abilities/accomplishments
Domain II. Cognitive Ability
Cognitive abilities are the thinking skills used to carry out the mechanisms of learning, remembering, problem solving, and paying attention.
Competencies and Objectives
1) Verbal Ability
The ability to approach written texts (i.e., words, sentences, verbs and adjectives), in order to comprehend meanings, produce synonyms and antonyms, know the meaning and use of words, complete sentences with words omitted based on the word context, and have a critical view towards written speech.
- Analogies: Assess a candidate’s ability to identify the relationship between words, and to then make inferences based on the known similarities between the words.
- Sentence Completion: Assess a candidate’s ability to complete sentences based on one or two missing words in the sentence.
- Synonyms and Antonyms: Assess a candidate’s ability to distinguish between different words with identical or opposite meanings.
2) Quantitative Ability
The ability to solve mathematical calculations, ranging from numeric calculations to problems of arithmetic reasoning, graphing and table reading, percentage analysis, categorization, and quantitative analysis.
- Word problems: Assess a candidate’s ability to apply known mathematical quantities to calculate the value of an unknown quantity, in the form of a written question.
- Numerical equations: Assess a candidate’s ability to apply basic numeracy to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentage, and fraction problems.
3) Analytical Reasoning Ability
The ability to recognize and determine the meaning of patterns in a variety of information.
- Visual sequencing: Assess a candidate’s ability to attach order to symbols, words, or images.
- Identify next in a series: Assess a candidate’s ability to apply basic numeracy rules in order to locate missing terms in a sequence.
- Deductive logical problem solving: Assess a candidate’s ability to determine consequences from one or more statements, based on the certainty of outcomes from those statements.
Domain III. Teaching Skills
The essential elements that effective teachers must know and be able to do in order to improve student learning and outcomes in the classroom.
Competencies and Objectives
1) Planning for Successful Outcomes
Effective teachers identify what is important for students to learn and to design instruction that enables the students to achieve those learning goals. Planning is based on a deep understanding of content and knowledge about one’s students — the students’ knowledge and skills as well as their interests and cultural backgrounds.
- Know your standards: Highly effective teachers are familiar with standards applicable to their classrooms, and use them throughout the teaching cycle. They identify the relevant standards and use them to inform their lessons and units as they plan, instruct, assess, and adjust.
- Know your students: Highly effective teachers use student interests, learning styles and performance levels to plan for instruction. They get to know their students well through classroom discussion, writing samples, and tools like interest inventories. They recognize the varied learning styles as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their students to design a variety of learning experiences to leverage those strengths and address those weaknesses. They differentiate instruction and use assessment data to inform their lesson and unit designs.
- Set interim annual goals: Highly effective teachers set interim goals throughout the semester/year as well as long-term annual goals. They regularly communicate those goals to students and parents.
- Create or select assessments: Highly effective teachers select and/or develop rigorous, standards-based assessments. They develop summative assessments aligned to unit goals prior to designing formative assessments. They involve students in the development of assessments and the criteria for success, and they use a variety of types of assessments.
- Develop standards-based unit plans and objective-driven lesson plans: Highly effective teachers develop rigorous, standards-based unit plans and objective-driven lesson plans. They start with the end in mind, with clear expectations for progress and learning for each year and for the end of the semester/year. They are familiar with taxonomies like Bloom’s and use them to determine the appropriate rigor for expectations and assessments. They allocate the time for lessons and units appropriately and differentiate instruction and assessment based on their knowledge of students as well as goals.
- Optimize Learning Time: Highly effective teachers recognize that learning time is precious and actively work to minimize disruptions and maximize engagement. They establish protocols and routines to optimize learning time and consistently reinforce them. These teachers adjust their lessons to foster engagement and intervene for off-task behavior promptly and effectively. They maximize learning opportunities by optimizing the time spent on learning.
2) Create a Learning Environment
Effective teachers create an ideal classroom that is comfortable and respectful; it is a safe environment in which students feel free to take intellectual risks. A classroom that is highly conducive for learning also runs very smoothly; routines and procedures are efficient, and student behavior is cooperative so that the work in the classroom is focused on learning.
- Interact positively and respectfully with students: Highly effective teaching involves more than content knowledge. These teachers usually craft their classroom climate with care, building good relationships with and among their students and modeling the behaviors that they expect.
- Create a culture for learning: Highly effective teachers create a classroom culture and climate that support learning. They model enthusiasm and a positive attitude, and their supportive behaviors shape positive and respectful student interactions.
- Implement behavioral expectations, reinforce positive behavior, and correct off-task behavior: Highly effective teachers have strong classroom management skills. They implement clear behavioral expectations, reinforcing positive behavior and correcting off-task behavior. They involve students in the development and communication of expectations.
- Student-centered classroom: Highly effective teachers realize that students are more engaged and gain deeper understandings when the classroom environment is student-centered. Research confirms that students learn more through active involvement and experiential learning than through passive receptiveness. These teachers are effective coaches who do not abdicate their roles; they are still responsible for designing and managing learning and assessment. They do that through facilitation instead of direct instruction. In a constructivist classroom like this, the teacher can inspire students to seek out knowledge, construct meaning, and connect and apply their learning to the larger world beyond the classroom.
Effective teachers engage students with the content – they implement the plans designed in competency one. Teachers encourage students to participate in a community of learners developing a deep understanding of important concepts.
- Engage students in understanding lesson objectives: Highly effective teachers recognize that students need to fully understand what the objectives of a lesson are, why they are worthwhile, and what mastery of them looks like. They communicate all of this to students on a regular basis and frequently check to ensure student understanding.
- Provide multiple ways for students at different levels to access rigorous standards: Highly effective teachers realize that students tend to respond to high expectations if they are supported in their efforts. They also know that students bring a variety of talents and backgrounds to the classroom, so they differentiate teaching to ensure that all students have their learning needs met and can achieve at a high level. These teachers use a variety of strategies to foster high achievement based on rigorous standards.
- Use effective questioning to develop higher-level understanding of the standards: Effective questioning supports and pushes student learning. Highly effective teachers consider and manage multiple aspects of questioning simultaneously. They are aware of the relative levels of questioning according to a model like Bloom’s Taxonomy, and they use a variety of levels at appropriate times and in different settings. They connect questions to new skills, new contexts, and student interests. They monitor their use of “wait time” and ensure equity in opportunities for student response. These teachers also help students develop their own questioning skills.
- Provide multiple opportunities for student-to-student interaction and structured academic talk: Highly effective teachers create multiple opportunities for students to interact verbally in productive and meaningful ways. They provide varied opportunities for collaborative student work and encourage students to engage in academic talk. Recognizing the value of metacognition, they model it in their own behaviors and create explicit opportunities for students to think about their own thinking and use that metacognitive approach to improve and clarify learning.
- Check for academic understanding and respond appropriately during the lesson: Highly effective teachers consistently check for understanding and use that information to reshape lessons as needed. They are familiar with and effective at using an array of strategies to check on the effectiveness of the instructional practices they have chosen, and they know how to shift and adapt as needed. These teachers take this even further by using these strategies to help students recognize their own level of understanding and take ownership for increasing that level.
- Implement evidence-based pedagogical practices: Highly effective teachers seek pedagogical practices that have been validated through research. These best practices have been vetted and are supported by a concrete evidence base. These teachers seek professional development to enlighten their practice.
- Encourage independent learning: Highly effective teachers recognize that independent learners are more likely to succeed in the world outside school. Teaching learners to learn is more challenging than dispensing facts and information, but it builds the skills and self-sufficiency needed in life. Independent learning is not about learning alone; it is about students taking ownership of their learning and their process. These teachers help students develop skills to become better learners and to be able to apply their skills and learnings in new situations.
4) Analyze and Adjust
Effective teachers continuously monitor and adjust performance, both in themselves and in the students they teach. They identify professional skills and responsibilities that are not visible in the classroom but that are crucial for successful classroom teaching and for enhancing the profession of teaching overall.
- Analyze student data and instructional practice: Highly effective teachers are proactive in their reflection. They collect information and use it to shape their practice. Records of student work and grades are not simply an end in themselves; rather, they provide insights that help teachers support and improve student performance. These teachers also reflect on their own practice and how it impacts student learning and achievement. They actively seek and use feedback to improve their practice.
- Modify unit plans and daily lessons: Highly effective teachers not only plan their units and daily lessons thoughtfully, but they also know how to modify them based on their analysis of student data and instructional practice. Their flexibility never loses sight of the overall goals, but they recognize the need to adjust in order to reach those goals.
- Adjust practice and reteach: Highly effective teachers identify the need to adjust instructional practices and/or re-teach through continual monitoring of student progress and understanding. Their decisions about these adjustments are always data-driven, and they adjust their long-term plans to accommodate these changes. These teachers work with colleagues and school leadership to keep their adjustments and re-teaching effective.