Audit Response
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Ancillary Services: Reorganize Professional Development for Educators

Establish clear state-level leadership on professional development.

Estimated cost savings
No substantial cost savings involved; but will serve to eliminate the inefficiency and confusion in the field that currently exists due to the separate operations.
Policy change(s) required
§18-2-23A (Master Plan), §18-2-24 (WVDE collaboration with IHE), §18A-3-8 and 9 (local county and service personnel advisory councils), §18A-3C-3 (comprehensive teacher induction and growth), §18A-3-2b and others relating to beginning teachers and mentors.
Actions already underway
N/A
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the audit finding that state-level leadership in this area has become fragmented. While well intended, the above referenced statutes each address the delivery of programs to improve the professional practice and knowledge of school employees through different and in some cases conflicting delivery models, exacerbating the program fragmentation, adding costs and reducing focus.

The WVBOE views the fragmentation of leadership that has evolved over the years as a substantial erosion of powers and responsibility vested in the WVBOE by the state constitution. The WVBOE will appoint a WVBOE Professional Development Advisory Committee to assist in streamlining regional and local professional development advisory and policymaking structure for this recommendation and others as appropriate in this sequence of recommendations through No. 16.

Consolidate advisory functions related to professional development.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
§18A-3-8 and §18A-3-9.
Actions already underway
The WVBOE, through its Professional Development Committee, has formulated the 2012-2013 Professional Development Master Plan.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation that advisory functions for professional development should be consolidated by the 2013 school year into a single entity in order to adjudicate professional development offerings and apply standards.

Streamline regional and local professional development advisory and policy making structure.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
See Code identified in No. 1 of this section.
Actions already underway
The WVDE annually reviews the professional development section of district strategic plans.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to use a bottoms-up approach to design a professional development plan that is both flexible and responsive to the actual needs of schools and teachers.

We support the RESAs in leading customized professional development aligned with specific state professional development goals and individual district and school professional development sections of their strategic plans. The Board will appoint a WVBOE Professional Development Advisory Committee to assist in streamlining regional and local professional development advisory and policymaking structure as stated in No. 1 of this section.

Refine and use Master Plan for Statewide Professional Staff Development as a true strategic planning tool.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
18A-3A (Center for Professional Development). See Code identified in No. 1 of this section.
Actions already underway
The Master Plan has been revised and measurable goals have been set for a verifiable evaluation. The process used to compile the 2012-2013 Master Plan utilized district level professional development plans, adoption of Learning Forward (formerly the National Staff Development Council) Professional Development Standards, the adoption of a definition of professional development that distinguishes professional development from technical assistance, and involvement of all offices within the WVDE, RESAs, the WVCPD and Marshall University.
WVBOE response
WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and calls for the revised Master Plan for Statewide Professional Development to be distributed by January 2013 to represent all professional development providers, including schools and districts.

Determine the best and most cost-effective professional development delivery model for the state.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
See Code identified in No. 1 of this section.
Actions already underway
The WVDE has initiated the development of a new system for determining the benefits and potential challenges associated with various online and other venues for providing professional development.

A pilot has been conducted by the WVDE to research the effectiveness of the new evaluation policy that may be used to determine feasibility of this delivery model.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and stresses the urgency of the recommendation to determine the most effective professional development model.

The WVBOE proposes that a statewide study group appointed by the WVBOE Professional Development Advisory Committee assess professional development needs assessments and determine the most effective model.

The WVBOE recommends acquiring external expertise on creating a cost-effective delivery model.

Improve professional development data to minimize course duplication.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
N/A
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to minimize course duplication, and recommends creation of an online statewide professional development registration site with unique teacher and course identifications through a longitudinal data system.

Continue to refine evaluation tools to determine the effects of professional development on teacher practice and student achievement.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
The evaluation of the 2010-2011 Master Plan laid the groundwork by surveying educators and asking how professional development affected their knowledge, behavior and skills, and attitudes and beliefs. These survey results were limited and the WVDE has refined its survey approach.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and calls upon the WVDE Office of Research to assess the effect of all professional development on student achievement.

Provide adequate funding for RESAs to become centers of excellence for teacher quality and professional development.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
N/A
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and advocates for funding to strengthen and professionalize RESAs in order for them to become centers of excellence for both professional development and teacher quality, particularly related to low-performing schools and high need areas, such as science, math and technology.

Establish research-based state standards to create a vision for high-quality professional development.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
Professional development standards have been established.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and calls upon the Board's Professional Development Advisory Committee to develop a plan utilizing the professional standards to create high-quality professional development that will directly affect student achievement.

Use student achievement data to assess the effectiveness of professional development.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
Currently, a statewide platform is being considered to assess this type of data.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation to develop a mechanism to collect data and determine whether student learning is affected by changes in teacher practice as a result of professional development.

Modify statutory language on teacher mentoring to provide for greater flexibility, accountability and efficiency.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
HB 4236 passed during the 2012 legislative session.

§18A-3-2b - related to beginning teacher internship referenced with flexibility of HB 4236.
Actions already underway
In June 2012, the West Virginia Board of Education adopted guidelines that align with HB 4236 to create a comprehensive infrastructure that routinely supports a continuous process for improving teaching and learning. The guidelines allow more flexibility for local school systems to determine how best to use the state teacher mentoring fund and design systems aligned with best practice that support the professional growth of all educators.
WVBOE response
Code has already been modified to eliminate prescriptive language on teacher mentoring and provided greater flexibility, accountability and efficiency. This recommendation was addressed in June 2012.The Board recommends continual review and evaluation of teacher mentoring.

Clarify training expectations for mentor teachers.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
§18A-3A-3 (2).
Actions already underway
Center for Professional Development currently offers this training according to Code.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation, and calls upon the Legislature to revise state Code to allow counties autonomy to provide customized training as defined by the state.

Review WVDE policies and utilize waivers to allow more flexibility in how schools can use state teacher mentoring funds.

Estimated cost savings
The Cabell County Innovation Zone model of hiring full-time mentors allows districts to save on the cost of hiring substitute teachers for mentor/mentee days.
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
The state Board of Education adopted guidelines in June 2012 that allow more flexibility in how schools can use the state teacher mentoring fund and establish best practices for supporting the professional growth of all educators.
WVBOE response
Code has already been modified to eliminate prescriptive language on teacher mentoring and provide greater flexibility, accountability and efficiency. This recommendation was addressed in June 2012. The Board recommends continual review and evaluation of teacher mentoring.

Evaluate ways to establish best practices and improve compliance with state laws and policies governing teacher mentoring.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
Cabell County Innovation Zone model of teacher mentoring has evaluated ways to establish best practices.
WVBOE response
WVBOE agrees with the recommendation and calls upon districts to evaluate ways to share best mentoring practices, as well as to recommend which practices should be standardized statewide.

Allocate state and local professional development spending to identify priorities.

Estimated cost savings
It is reasonable to project savings of at least 10 percent through elimination of redundant, ineffective, or professional development that is unrelated to the state's educational goals. This would equate to $2.26 to $6.77 million annually; $11.3 to $33.9 million over five years. In addition, local districts could achieve substantial savings if they also reduced redundancy and focused resources and efforts on identified goals.
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
The WVBOE has established a Professional Development Committee and the formulation of a Master Plan for Professional Staff Development.

Professional Development Standards have been adopted based on Learning Forward standards.

All district level plans for professional development are reviewed by the WVDE.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation that policymakers have a clear understanding of statewide professional development goals and make funding decisions accordingly.

Maximize West Virginia's professional development funding by actively pursuing all available federal and private grant opportunities.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No.
Actions already underway
The WVDE created a manager of grant procurement in the Office of Research to obtain federal and private funding.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation that the grant procurement manager in the Office of Research focus efforts in obtaining federal and private money in order to maximize West Virginia's professional development funding during the 2012-2013 calendar years.