2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
West Virginia's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
To advance from an Initial Professional Teaching Certificate to a Professional Teaching Certificate, teachers must complete six semester hours of college coursework. The state also offers a Permanent Professional Teaching Certificate for teachers with five years' experience and a master's degree.
West Virginia does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Teachers must renew their licenses every five years by completing professional development requirements. After completing two five-year renewal processes teachers receive permanent certification.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
West Virginia should require evidence of teacher effectiveness to be a factor in determining whether teachers can renew their licenses or advance to a higher-level license.
Discontinue license requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, West Virginia's general, nonspecific coursework requirements for license advancement and renewal merely call for teachers to complete a certain amount of seat time. These requirements do not correlate with teacher effectiveness.
End requirement tying teacher advancement to obtaining master's degrees.
West Virginia should remove its mandate that teachers obtain a master's or doctorate degree for any level of license advancement. Research is conclusive and emphatic that master's degrees do not have any significant correlation to classroom performance. Rather, advancement should be based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
West Virginia asserted that in order to renew a license, teachers must complete coursework, as evidenced on official seal-bearing transcripts—not just professional development.