Thursday, July 31, 2014

What Is the Gallup TeacherInsight Assessment?

According to Gallup Inc., its TeacherInsight (TI) assessment is an automated online interview used by many school districts to help those schools identify the best potential teachers.

School districts across the country use the TI assessment as part of their teacher application and selection process. Some school districts use a cut score and do not consider applicants that fail to achieve or exceed that minimum score. Other districts do not use a cut score and instead use the TI score as one source of information to be considered in the selection process. Regardless of which method a district utilizes, the TI score inevitably affects applicants’ chances of obtaining a position.

Although Gallup recommends that school districts use the assessment as one piece of information when making their selection decisions, some school districts, use the assessment as an initial screening mechanism to determine which applicants to interview. For larger school districts, the TI assessment is administered to tens of thousands of applicants each year.

Development of TI Assessment

The TI assessment was developed as a Web-based version of the Teacher Perceiver Instrument (TPI). The TPI was originally created in the 1970s by Selection Research, which acquired the Gallup Organization in 1988 and took on Gallup’s name. The TPI was designed to identify effective teachers in face-to-face interviews based on their responses to interview questions. To develop the interview questions, Gallup states that it drew on the responses of experienced, master teachers across the country who were interviewed about effective teaching practices and behaviors.

In 2002, Gallup transitioned to the web-based TI assessment and in early February 2011, Gallup introduced its second generation of the TI assessment. The TI assessment has three types of questions:
  • First are multiple choice questions where one has 50 seconds to choose the response that BEST describes the applicant from four possible responses. 
  • Second are forced-choice questions where one has 50 seconds to choose the response that BEST describes the applicant from two possible statements. 
  • Third are Likert questions where one has 20 seconds to read a statement and rate the applicant's level of agreement with the statement. The applicant selects from five possible responses: "Strongly Disagree," "Disagree," "Neutral," "Agree," and "Strongly Agree." 
Feedback, Fairness and Credibilty

Teacher applicants do not receive their scores or any other feedback from Gallup about whether they passed. A passing score is based on cutoff score guidelines recommended by Gallup and set by school districts. In most school districts, applicants who do not make the cutoff score are allowed to take the TI only once in a 12-month period.

Gallup response to one of its FAQs on the TI assessment states:
TeacherInsight is fair because all applicants are asked exactly the same questions and they are evaluated exactly the same way. The questions have been thoroughly researched and tested to be sure they identify potentially superior teachers. 
The TeacherInsight interview development study, originally completed in January 2002, demonstrated content, construct, and criterion-related validity as well as fairness across Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) classifications of race, gender, and age. Subsequent analysis of candidate scores indicates similar results and interview fairness across groups.
The (Non)Predictive Ability of the Gallup TeacherInsight Assessment notes that Gallup's research on the effectiveness of its TI assessment is not publicly available. As stated in the Recommendations section in one of the few independent studies analyzing the TI assessment: "The lack of independent research on the TI and Gallup’s unwillingness to publish their own research does not help support the credibility of the TI."

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