Principals make good calls when they've got the say

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In related research also out of New York City, Donald Boyd and colleagues examine what kinds of teachers are likely to transfer and what kinds of teachers principals want to hire

Teachers who are most likely to request a transfer are not those teachers with a lot of seniority, but young upstarts--those who graduated from more selective colleges and had higher licensing test scores. (Dysfunctional schools are an exception to any rule. In those schools, all kinds of teachers, no matter what their background, want out.)

For their part, New York's principals are consistently choosing the higher quality teachers: both teachers with better pre-service qualifications and teachers with higher value-added scores--even though principals were not privy to the actual scores at hiring.

Other findings of interest: Black and Hispanic teachers are less likely to apply for a transfer, but when they do they are quickly snatched up.

But get this. The teachers in highest demand in New York by school principals are Teach For America teachers. Yet TFA teachers are the least likely to actually request a transfer--we're only guessing--because they have been drilled from Day One on the importance of sticking with the kids that need them the most.