We’re excited to announce that Nimble is a 2020 SBIR award winner for cutting-edge innovation in K-12 education. Each year, federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, award SBIR grants to advance promising tech innovation and ensure that new research findings get adopted in practice. The Department of Education’s SBIR program is highly competitive, with acceptance rates between 3 and 4% annually — and we’re honored to be among the companies selected this year!
Nimble’s SBIR award will advance our work leveraging predictive analytics to help schools identify and hire excellent teachers. In the last few years, an emerging body of research has demonstrated that certain data points in the teacher application process are predictive of classroom success and retention. Further, this research has shown that there is room for districts to make improved hiring decisions from within their existing applicant pools — enough to significantly increase the effectiveness and retention of their teacher workforce.
Last year, Nimble partnered with some of the top K-12 labor market researchers to build predictive analytics into our applicant tracking system. Our goal: to help our districts hire faster and smarter, ultimately ensuring that teaching vacancies are not only filled quickly, but with the strongest possible candidates.
However, the research on this topic has also highlighted an important question: how can we present insights about teacher fit to principals in a way that’s likely to inform their hiring decisions? Studies have shown that school principals, like all hiring managers, have their own biases, which can sometimes outweigh what the data says about who to hire. With these SBIR funds, we’ll experiment to better understand which pieces of data about teacher outcomes are most likely to drive principal hiring decisions. Ultimately, this will help us maximize the impact of our predictive model in boosting new teacher performance and retention.
We’re excited to continue exploring critical research questions related to teacher recruitment and hiring. And as we turn our sights to this new phase of work, we’re incredibly grateful to all of our customers and supporters who helped us achieve this milestone!
To learn more about this research and how Nimble can help your K-12 organization identify and hire outstanding talent, reach out to us here.