Tenn. recruits teachers online

Faced with increasing pressure to recruit qualified teachers for its schools, Tennessee has struck a pact with Teachers-Teachers.com, a private Web-based recruitment service, to provide all of its school systems with access to the company's national database of resumes from about 46,000 educational professionals.

Teachers-Teachers.com has made deals with several other states to provide its service to smaller groups of school districts, but Tennessee is the first to sign a statewide contract that covers all of its 138 school systems. The state provides the service to school systems and individual recruiters at no cost.

The contract with Teachers-Teachers.com is just the latest in Tennessee's efforts to develop a comprehensive system of personnel development for its schools, said Cleo Harris, regional coordinator for the Education Department's Middle Tennessee Regional Resource Center. Other ways to use the Web to improve teacher recruitment and retention are also being studied, she said.

To use Teachers-Teachers.com, school systems can search the database for candidates by residency, grade level, education and licensure areas, screen candidates by listening to recorded interviews and receive email directly from them.

The company began as a Maryland-based startup in early 2000 and had just 10,000 resumes in its database by the end of that year. The number of school systems using the service "has gone up a lot" in the just the past six months as more effort has gone into actively recruiting schools, according to Rebecca Clark, Teachers-Teachers.com's director of member services.

About 600 public school districts and another 500 private schools and other educational agencies currently are signed up for the service, Clark said.

Separately, Tennessee also recently announced a Web site (www.k-12.state.tn.us/certinf) that the public can access to check the licensure information of the state's teachers. The Education Department sees the site as providing a double-barreled service, to parents wanting to know the qualifications of their children's' teachers, and for the teachers to keep up to date with their own endorsements and licensing expiration dates.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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