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The research on teacher hiring at Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) offers a relatively singular story: thousands of applicants funneled through a rigorous network-aligned and information-rich realistic job preview to find a culture-fit for the school’s distinctive approach. Yet, the bulk of this research was conducted almost a decade ago, prior to the COVID-19 “Great Resignation” and prior to growing criticism of no-excuses CMOs. Using interviews and focus groups, this qualitative multi-site case study examines a CMO’s hiring preferences and practices in this new context through the lenses of uncertainty reduction theory (URT) and realistic job preview (RJP). Findings reveal that the CMO’s principals are unable to be as selective as they have been historically and are less able to reduce uncertainty because of fewer candidates in the teacher labor market (TLM), both of which contrast the extant literature. Further, to reduce uncertainty amid these TLM shortages, principals have expanded hiring preferences beyond their historical patterns into the traditional TLM and engaged “upselling” tactics in job previews to meet hiring needs. These shifts in hiring may point to important changes in how CMOs recruit teachers, operate their schools, and respond to changes in the educational landscape.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


Available for download on Friday, August 08, 2025

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