Haberman Educational Foundation | Education News




Approach: The unified and single approach of the Haberman Educational Foundation is to teach and implement a research-based model for how teachers and principals are identified and interviewed, particularly those educators who serve students at risk and in poverty ( for purposes of this RFP, “research-based” is defined as those results of staff development that apply research to educator decision-making; see NSDCProcessStandards www.nsdc.org/library/standards2001.html.) The Haberman Educational Foundation, Inc. staff and its Advisory Board of nationally recognized educational leaders together believe that, for the 15 million plus children and youth in this nation in poverty, having good teachers is a high-stakes endeavor: it is these students’ only chance for a glimpse of the American dream. All students deserve no less.

Methodology: To that end and for 50 years, Dr. Martin Haberman developed, researched, refined and replicated research in the area of teacher interviewing and selection, principal interviewing and selection, and the development of alternative certification programs.  The instruments proposed are the culmination of his work.  Haberman’s pioneering efforts in alternative teacher certification was designed to educate and certify individuals specifically chosen to teach the most challenging students.  The Star Teacher/Star Principal interviews are based on the behaviors, characteristics, and beliefs of teachers and principals nationwide shown to be unequivocally successful with students at risk. Understanding the centrality of this set of beliefs, Dr. Haberman formulated an interview to select individuals whose beliefs and behaviors match the teachers who are, over time, the most successful with the most challenging students. 

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Their students have the highest test scores; they attend and are motivated; they have fewer office referrals.  This request for proposal is based on the body of research that has emerged from Dr. Haberman’s lifetime of work and the many scholars, researchers, and practicing educators who have replicated his work, embedded it in school district practice, and used it to effectively to improve student achievement and teacher retention. Both online pre-screeners are based on the research of the live interview training methodology.  Star Teacher Selection and Star Principal Selection Training sessions proceed by a combination of hands-on practice and video presentation. Teacher Selection Trainees have an opportunity to see on video, a candidate interviewed who gives an answer to the question that is not a star answer. 

This candidate has only one solution for any problem that may arise in the classroom and is not persistent in problem solving.  Then the trainee sees several examples of a “star” answer on the item called “persistence.”  The trainee hears a star candidate give five or six possible solutions to a problem behavior exhibited by a student.  This behavior, “persistent problem-solving,” is a critical and indispensable characteristic of an effective teacher of youth at risk. 

Star teachers see it as their job to be persistent; it’s not an option, it’s what they do as part of the job of teaching. In a similar fashion, all seven star teacher characteristics/behaviors or “midrange functions” are taught at the teacher training and all eleven star principal mid-range functions are taught at the principal training.  Trainees practice each question with one another and experience feedback from instructors and one another; they then switch roles and practice listening and reflecting on the answers.  Feedback is immediate. At the conclusion of both the teacher and principal interview training, there is a proficiency test that ensures inter-rater reliability.  When principals and key leaders are trained, a full understanding of the pre-screener results will emerge and the complete selection protocol will become systemically research-based.

Training and Proposed Plans for Cooperation with the District to Ensure Ongoing Success

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Training and Services:  The Haberman Educational Foundation has the capacity to train principals, Human Resource officials, the district leadership team, and all levels of stakeholders in the use of the online teacher selection tool that is based on well-researched teacher and administrator selection strategies.

Haberman Star Teacher Selection:  The Haberman Educational Foundation (HEF) proposes to train principal teams consisting of a principal and assistant/associate principal.  Several additional teams would include school improvement/Human Resource personnel who recruit nationally and internationally.   Teams are flexible and may be designed to fit each district’s specific needs by the superintendent or an appropriate designee.  Intense, district saturation training such as proposed here is a formidable force focusing on the power of personnel selection.  With the one day of intensive training, a team or pair representing every individual school would be prepared to interview teacher candidates.  Subsequently, a tremendous number of individuals would be

1) Speaking a common language, the language of “core beliefs” of star teachers.

2) Knowledgeable about the core beliefs of the teachers whose students achieve the most and stay in school

3) Articulate in pedagogy designed specifically to meet the needs of at-risk youth. 

When principals understand the ideology of the star teacher live interview, they will fully understand the implications of the online teacher pre-screener results which go hand in hand with the interview protocol, thus, changing the culture of hiring in the school district.

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Haberman Star Principal Selection:  Principal selection training would occur for an audience specially chosen by the district leadership team.  The one-day Star Principal Selection Interview training highlights the eleven basic beliefs of effective administrators of schools where students are at risk and in poverty.  These beliefs are outlined in much of the generally accepted literature on school leadership and codified in Martin Haberman’s Star Principals of Children in Poverty, Kappa Delta Pi (Indianapolis, IN: 1999).  One day of training would equip district leaders to understand the rubric and background of the star principal online pre-screener.

When district administrators understand the ideology of the star principal live interviews, they will fully understand the implications of the online administrator pre-screener results. Both protocols are important to the district’s success. The HEF online pre-screeners are elegantly simple to use and maintain.  Because it is web-based, individuals have access 24/7 to online services scores automatically upon completion of the test. Both Haberman online tests, administrator and teacher, provide the district designee a user Client Entry Code which allows selection committee members  to view all test scores of potential school teachers and administrators.

Experience: HEF ensures the integrity of its model by training trainers over a long period of time; all HEF National Trainers are users of the interviews. To date, there are ten Haberman Foundation certified trainers nation wide for the star selection interviews. 

Qualifications:  An extensive body of research and data exists to support and enhance the process of teacher selection and retention using the interview upon which the online pre-screener is based.  This research dates back as far as 1966 when Haberman began to refine his interview in the Chicago Public Schools (See Appendix, “Statistical Data,” Haberman, M., History and Development of the Interview.)  The success of institutions in retaining candidates can also be statistically verified.  “Teachers for Chicago” utilized the teacher selection interview to significant statistical advantage. In Chicago PS, then Manager Dr. Fred Chesek, currently  professor National Louis University stated, “Widely accepted national averages show between 40% and 70% of certified teachers after college never either begin teaching or quit within five years”. 

The more challenging the school and the higher the need, the higher the teacher turnover.  Using the Haberman Star Selection Interviews exclusively, we turned those percentages on their heads.  In 1991 we had more than 6000 applicants but have selected only a little over 900 that have passed the interview.  Of these 82% was still teaching in a Chicago school while 70% are still at the same school where they served their internships. More recently, Spring Branch ISD’s Buffalo Creek Elementary School, Spring Branch, Texas,2007, noted a 100% retention rate of the teachers selected in 1996-’97. All were selected using the Haberman Star Teacher Interview.(Superintendent Kluffsman, 2007) Guilford County NC,2007, was the highest scoring district in the state after using the Haberman  interviews three and half years. (Terry Grier, Superintendent of the year in 2007) Since 2009,

Dr. Grier currently serves as Superintendent of Schools in Houston ISD, Texas. HISD uses all of the Haberman protocols .This year the district won the Eli Broad Foundation Million Dollar award. The graduating class in 2013, won 186 million dollars in scholarships. You can’t get a scholarship unless you have good grades and you can’t get good grades without great teachers!! HEF helps save the children and youth of America!



The Haberman Educational Foundation
4018 Martinshire Drive
Houston, Texas, 77025-3918
Fax/Phone (713) 667-6185



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  1. Thank You Education News for helping to spread the work and principles of Dr. Haberman and the Haberman Educational Foundation. lol…I also bet he is gleefully smiling when he see’s his boyhood image from the Lincoln Coffee Lounge & Cafe, Rowe Street, Sydney / photographed by Brian Bird (c. 1948-1951) on page #2. Thank You Education News, Jimmy Kilpatrick & Dr. Nuccitelli.