Centralized educator assignment

From Policy Atlas
Jump to: navigation, search

Centralized educator assignment is a policy in which educators such as teachers and principals apply to and interview for employment within a broader school district instead of at an individual school. Centralized assignment policies ares often used in order to help ensure that effective teachers and principals are fairly distributed throughout a district and not concentrated in the most desirable placements.



The Rocky Mountain School District currently maintains a policy that allows individual schools in its district to recruit and hire their own staff and currently maintains two secondary schools: Lofty Pines and Mountain Road. Lofty Pines is located in the district's wealthiest census tract, while Mountain Road is located in the district's poorest. For a variety of reasons, including Lofty Pines' greater resources and nicer facilities, the most effective teachers and principals are pursuing positions at Lofty Pines more often than for Mountain Road. The Superintendent for Rocky Mountain School District notes this disparity and the resulting income-based student achievement gaps that are being exacerbated between the two districts. After implementing a new policy of centralized educator assignment, the Superintendent notes improvement in the equity of staff effectiveness and overall student achievement across the two institutions.


Tradeoffs of implementing this policy may include:

  1. Potential loss of school principal control over teacher quality and fit
  2. Potential assignment of teachers to faraway schools may increase teacher commuting times
  3. Potential assignment of teachers to faraway schools may reduce knowledge of local area and cultural relevance of curriculum.
Compatibility Assessment

If answered yes, the following questions indicate superior conditions under which the policy is more likely to be appropriate:

  1. Do schools in the surrounding area belong to a common school district or other administrative body?
  2. Are there significant discrepancies in the qualifications and effectiveness of teachers being hired at different schools at the same grade levels in a surrounding area?
  3. Does the district's current method of teacher assignment allow for teacher and/or principal discretion that is contributing to educational inequities?
  4. Would a centralized method of assigning teachers be likely to lower the student achievement gap?

Other relevant factors in considering whether and how to implement this policy include:

  1. Role of individual school in assignment decisions (E.g., veto power only vs. role in selection)
  2. Rules for existing staff transfers vs. new staff


  • For governance level(s): Local.

Centralized educator assignment is a highly prevalent policy in U.S. school districts. The degree to which the central school district retains control of the hiring process and involves individual school leaders in decision-making can vary. For example, some school districts might allow principals to recommend candidates, select from a pool of approved candidates, or otherwise veto candidates. Relevant entities who have implemented or adopted this policy include:



Relevant entities who support or are likely to support this policy include:


Relevant entities who oppose or are likely to oppose this policy include:


  1. "Bumping HR: Giving Principals More Say Over Staffing." (October 2010). National Council on Teacher Quality. Policy brief advocating for de-centralized assignment practices and more principal control over hiring.
  2. "Philadelphia’s Teacher Hiring and School Assignment Practices: Comparisons with Other Districts." # Useem, Elizabeth and Elizabeth Farley (April 2004). Research for Action. Research brief that summarizes a comparative study of Philadelphia's teacher hiring and school assignment practices relative to most other districts.
Related Policies

PolicyAtlas is maintained by volunteer contributors. For instructions on how to join PolicyAtlas, simply create an account and read about how to contribute a policy.

You can also follow @PolicyAtlas and contact us on: Twitter Icon.png Twitter, Facebook Icon.png Facebook, Instagram Icon.png Instagram and Email.