The Madison School Board had been expected to vote June 30 on whether to spend $273,000 over three years on software whose developers say features algorithms that can predict which prospective teachers are likely to raise student test scores.
The founders of the Chicago-based TeacherMatch also promise to deliver a diverse pool of teacher candidates to the school district, which has made raising the percentage of African-American and Latino teachers a priority.
Rachel Strauch-Nelson, spokesperson for the Madison Metropolitan School District, said that delaying the vote will allow school district administrators to “do some more stakeholder engagement.”
“The extra time will give us a chance to answer questions, gather feedback and involve more stakeholders in the decision-making process,” Strauch-Nelson said in an email.
The proposal to purchase the software drew criticism from teachers, community members and at least one school board member for using student test scores to evaluate teachers. One teacher blogged that the software sounded like something “off the cover of the Onion.”
The school district this summer also will be looking for a new director of human resources to replace the retiring Bob Nadler, but the personnel change is not setting the time frame for a vote on TeacherMatch, Strauch-Nelson said.