WCASD Hiring Data

  • The following information is an assessment of a 2018-19 WCASD School Board goal to recruit and retain candidates of color with a goal to match student demographics:

    • WCASD hired eight educators of color out of 116 teachers and Long Term Substitutes for the 2018-2019 school year, or 6.9% of hires.

    The 2018-19 demographics of professional staff:

    • Total Teachers and administrators: 1,026
    • Number of teacher and administrators of color: 75
    • Percentage of teachers and administrators of color out of the total number of teachers and administrators: 7%
    • 3 out of 16 of the District's principals (18%) are Black

     

    Student demographics: Changes from 2009 to 2019

  • Demographic data relative to interviews and hiring of racially diverse teachers over the past six years:

    • In 2014-15 the district interviewed for two principal positions with four out of six minority candidates (3 Black and 1 Hispanic). Ultimately, one of the Black candidates was hired.
    • In 2016-17 the overall number of Black applicants increased from 13 to 20, and Hispanic 22 to 28 from the previous year. In 2017 the overall number of Black applicants increased from 20 to 54, and the overall pool of minority applicants increased from 54 to 62, and of the 46 new teachers hired for the district, 8 (17%) were minority candidates.

    • In 2018-19 there were 27 candidates of color interviewed for teaching positions, and of that group, eight were hired. It was reported that of the district’s 1026 professional employees, 75 were people of color (7%). This reflected an increase from the 2016-17 school year when the district employed 49 educators of color (5%).

  • RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF FACULTY, ADMINISTRATORS AND STAFF OF COLOR 
    (excerpt from a draft report conducted by the Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence and Equity)

    We commend the district and its HR director and district administrators for their efforts over the past six years in developing key strategic recruitment and hiring initiatives that are paying dividends in increasing numbers of more racially diverse teachers and building-level administrators and staff applying, being interviewed, and being hired:

    • Formalizing district-wide recruitment and hiring practices and annually reviewing and refining these practices and procedures- getting beyond informal and relationship-dependent practices of the past that discouraged diversity in hiring
    • Diverse teacher recruitment efforts in Pittsburgh and Ohio
    • On-going participation in DVCEE Educators of Color Recruitment Fair and Job Postings
    • Screening ALL applicants of color for a potential interview
    • The district practice that reimburses Instructional Aides and Support Staff 50% of college/university tuition for returning to school to get degrees and certification. Five of twelve of staff taking advantage are non-white.
    • Long Term Substitutes/Instructional Aides are “basically guaranteed an interview”

    Identified Strengths:

    • Setting 20% per year targets for increasing diverse professional staff and accomplishing that goal over the past six years as reported by the HR Director
    • Principals’ commitment: see high levels of interest of candidates once they get in the door
    • Partnerships with West Chester University, Immaculata, and Neumann and recruitment at other Philadelphia region colleges and universities
    • Utilizing connections with Black sorority and fraternity system

    Identified Challenges:

    • Distance, transportation and/or relocation challenges for potential candidates living in Philadelphia
    • Low entry salary for newly certified teachers (second-lowest among Chester County districts) lowers competitive edge with other local districts for highly qualified and skilled candidates- related to collective bargaining agreement (note – the second year salary increases significantly  and is more in line with other regional salaries.)
    • Dearth of candidates in high need areas: Math/Science, Spanish, Special Education, Technical Education
    • Recruiting out of state candidates due to licensing/certification reciprocity challenges with PA Department of Education policies and practices
    • Losing diverse employees to open administrative/higher-paying positions in other districts

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    • Make publicly visible the Board’s and District’s commitment to equity and diversification of professional staff and make and make public and transparent your successes for example on the district website and in regular communications to the West Chester community.
    • As central office administrative positions come open, strongly consider strategies for filling those with minority candidates.
    • Consider additional staff support in HR that might target energies in seeking diverse candidates.
    • Consider working with legislators to extend reciprocity certifications with other states to increase the candidate pool.  (Currently, Pennsylvania does not certify a teacher unless that teacher has completed the PA requirements for certification.)
    • Consider a more robust candidate/employee information management system. The demographic data on applications, interviews, hiring, and retention were not easily accessed.
    • As the “standard interview questions” are reviewed, consider reconceptualizing and expanding questions that get to all candidate’s deep understanding of equity and demonstration of culturally responsive behaviors in practice
    • Consider development of focused “grow your own” efforts with your students of color in middle school/high school career planning to nurture and support their potential interest/experiences in teaching/education as a career
    • Raise diversity recruitment and retention challenges with future collective bargaining agreements
    • Consider developing robust partnerships with local universities with the express purpose of strengthening the pool of talent from which the district can hire
    • Examine the pathways that new teaching hires may come through (student teaching, substitutes, teaching assistants) and determine whether the pathways are fully accessible to all candidates
    • Ensure that “fit” and issues around district culture are not barriers to employment