Launch a Comprehensive Plan to Recruit the Best Teachers and Improve Training

Modify Code and policy to change hiring practices to allow for the filling of professional staff vacancies with the most qualified person regardless of seniority in the district.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
§18-5-45.
Actions already underway
N/A
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation of hiring the most qualified person to fill professional staff vacancies. The Board recognizes that seniority is a factor that should be considered, but not be determinative in law and practice. The Board continues to emphasize that seniority should not be the only factor, and other determining factors should be considered.

Establish a Teach for America program to recruit teachers for hard-to-serve areas.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
Any action regarding employment would require review, potential revision of §18A (school personnel).
Actions already underway
The WVBOE revised policy in August 2012 to expand alternative certification pathways.

The WVDE is currently implementing other programs designed to recruit teachers for hard-to-serve areas, such as the Transition to Teaching and the Teacher-in-Residence programs. The Teacher-in-Residence model allows teachers who have completed all content work and are ready for student teaching to be placed in a school if a qualified teacher is unavailable. The student receives 65 percent of a teacher salary with the IHE receiving the remainder.

The program is designed for shortage areas and is mentored by IHE. The institution designs how it plans to monitor and evaluate these teachers.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and calls upon the Legislature to make a statute change to establish Teach for America (TFA) as one strategy that has potential for recruiting teachers for hard-to-serve areas. The Board supports only hiring TFA teachers if there are no other fully qualified teachers to fill a vacancy.

Establish a Teacher Recruitment Work Group, with representatives from the counties, to develop innovative ways to identify and hire qualified teachers.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
During the Summer of 2012, the Office of Professional Preparation developed an online Teacher Recruitment Tool, West Virginia Critical Needs Listing, available to all districts to identify highly qualified teachers in shortage areas.

Teacher-in-Residence is an example of innovative method of teacher recruitment.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to establish a Teacher Recruitment Work Group with all-inclusive membership, including members of the Legislature, business and higher education to develop innovative ways to identify and hire qualified teachers.

Provide flexibility to alternate route teachers in demonstrating content knowledge.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
Transition to Teaching
Troops to Teachers
Teacher-in-Residence
WVBOE response
The WVBOE supports this recommendation and calls for the identification of alternative routes, such as Troops to Teachers.

Require new teachers to have a reduced workload.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
Any action regarding employment would require review, potential revision of §18A.
Actions already underway
Cabell County's Innovation Zone initiative has created a personalized mentor teacher program to assist new teachers at the building level. The Board approved guidelines in July 2012 to require all districts to submit a plan to strengthen and support beginning educators.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the spirit of the recommendation and calls upon the districts to identify strategies to utilize time innovatively to enable this practice, such as assist new teachers, increased time with mentor teachers, increased time for team curricular planning, and utilizing professional learning communities in the school.

Ensure that elementary teachers know the science of reading.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
All teacher preparation programs are going through the re-approval process. This was an important first step that will be built upon by the Preparation Program Quality Stakeholder Group.

The WVDE convened a workgroup of stakeholders to recommend changes to the PRAXIS test that, when adopted, will ensure that elementary teachers of reading, math, social studies and science are appropriately assessed on subject matter knowledge and skills.

Office of Professional Preparation is working with Education Testing Service (ETS) to revise content of the elementary PRAXIS exam to require specific scores on the exams. This will be piloted in 2013-2014.

New certification is available now to elementary teachers, such as math and reading specialist certifications.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to strengthen both the content knowledge and pedagogy in reading of all teachers. The WVBOE recommends teacher preparation programs align with the Common Core State Standards.

Ensure that elementary teachers know elementary content math.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
Office of Professional Preparation is working with ETS to revise content of the elementary PRAXIS exam.

New certification is available now to elementary teachers, such as elementary math and reading specialist certifications for teachers who already hold an elementary degree. West Virginia University is working on a program proposal.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to strengthen both the content knowledge and pedagogy in math of all teachers. Recommend teacher preparation programs align with the Common Core State Standards to ensure teachers know math content.

Ensure that elementary content tests adequately assess content knowledge in each subject area.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
New certification is now available to elementary teachers, such as math and reading specialist certifications.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and supports the work currently under way.

Ensure that special education teachers are adequately prepared to teach subject matter.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
The OnTarget program has a virtual content support for special education teachers, but requires funding.

In addition, the Office of Professional Preparation is working to strengthen pathways for special educators to demonstrate content knowledge.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to strengthen both the content knowledge and pedagogy of all special education teachers and recommends working with higher education institutions to ensure. The Board also recommends utilizing existing online tools for virtual content support for special education teachers.

Ensure that teacher preparation programs are accountable for the quality of teachers they produce.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
The WVBOE has worked with HEPC on an ongoing basis to strengthen teacher quality in preparation programs.

The WVBOE has committed to adding teacher preparation as a priority in the adoption of the WVDE Game Changers document.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and with the requirement of connecting accountability in this area to the approval of preparation programs.

The Board will collaborate with IHEs to review available data within the data/reporting system tracking information such as the connection between student achievement and PRAXIS scores. The Board also recommends the data on teacher effectiveness and its link back to the teacher preparation programs be made available to the public.

The WVBOE will form a Board committee to develop the definition of teacher/educator effectiveness, West Virginia Teacher Effectiveness Measure, (WVTEM), tied to reliable and measurable outcomes. The targeted date for development of the WVTEM is June 30, 2013.

Establish more comprehensive coursework requirements geared to areas of knowledge needed by elementary school teachers.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
N/A
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with this recommendation and directs the Office of Professional Preparation to identify the needed areas of content knowledge for elementary teachers, in collaboration with IHEs. The WVBOE also calls for more clinical assessment of teacher practice and encourages educating toward outcomes, not credit hours.

Strengthen middle school teachers' subject matter preparation.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
All teacher preparation programs are currently going through re-approval process.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to strengthen both the content knowledge and pedagogy of all teachers. The Board directs the WVDE to work with IHEs to ensure that teacher prep programs use an integrated approach based on Common Core State Standards.

Require all teacher preparation programs to meet state approval and not just national accreditation.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
State approval is already required.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE already requires teacher preparation programs to meet state approval.

Provide scholarships at state universities for aspiring teachers and active teachers seeking to pursue advanced degrees who pledge to work in West Virginia schools for a minimum of five years or teach in low-income districts that are hard to serve.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
§18C-4-1.
Actions already underway
Currently, we are providing Underwood-Smith Teach Scholarships on a very limited level.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to provide scholarships or loan forgiveness at state universities for aspiring and active teachers to pursue advanced degrees.

Hold teacher preparation programs accountable for the quality of their graduates.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
N/A
WVBOE response
The WVBOE endorses this recommendation and suggests the strengthening of standards being used for admission, program content and graduation from teacher preparation programs and aligning their effectiveness to the state accreditation process.

Pre-service teacher education programs need to identify common language and develop a common student teaching assessment for statewide continuity.