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What Do Teacher Job Postings Tell Us about School Hiring Needs and Equity?
Several decades of research using school administrative data show that teacher quality is inequitably distributed across schools. But these estimates may understate teacher-related inequities if they do not account for how teacher vacancies or late hires are distributed across schools. We investigate these hiring issues using data on a direct proxy of school hiring needs: teacher job postings collected from public school district websites. These data allow us to document how, over the course of the school year, hiring needs vary across districts, schools, and subject areas. We find that schools serving more students of color have greater hiring needs throughout the hiring cycle. We also find that hiring needs for special education and STEM positions are consistently higher than hiring needs for elementary positions. Schools with growing enrollments, as well as schools and subjects with higher prior attrition rates, also tend to have more job postings. Postings for schools in towns and rural areas tend to stay open longer than for schools in suburban and urban areas. Finally, we validate that job postings, which can be obtained quickly and inexpensively, are a good indicator of school and district needs in that they closely line up with eventual teacher hires.
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