CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia is making progress in modernizing how county school districts evaluate teachers, the state Board of Education learned.
In 2011, the West Virginia Department of Education launched a pilot in 25 schools to test a revised educator evaluation system. This school year, the pilot was expanded to include 136 schools.
Results from the pilot show that the majority of teachers believe the new evaluation system is having a positive effect on their individual skills and student performance by promoting continuous growth. The revised system not only has reduced the number of educator observations, but also required all teachers receive an evaluation. Student learning is included as 20 percent of the evaluation total.
“The revised system focuses on professional growth for teachers, counselors and those who lead them by emphasizing support, guidance and constructive feedback,” said state Superintendent Chuck Heinlein. “The system is based on standards and rubrics that define expectations, provide clarity and minimize subjectivity. It is truly about encouraging personal growth and development.”
West Virginia began the process of updating its teacher evaluation program in 2009 when the state Board of Education adopted new professional teaching standards. The next year, the U.S. Department of Education began requiring states to revise their educator evaluation systems to qualify for stimulus and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. The board then in 2010 assembled a task force to work on the new educator evaluation system. The taskforce includes teachers, counselors, principals, superintendents, teacher organizations, and other key stakeholders.
In its response to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s “Education Efficiency Audit of West Virginia’s Primary and Secondary Education System,” the state Board of Education also placed importance on establishing a new educator evaluation system. Board members said the new education system, when expanded statewide, will help teachers and principals alike and ultimately improve student achievement. The board’s audit response, “From Audit to Action: Students First” can be found at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/audit-response.html.
For more information on the revised evaluation system, contact Lisa Hedrick in the Office of Professional Preparation at (304) 558-7010, or the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699.