Licensure Loopholes: West Virginia

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching.

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Loopholes: West Virginia results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/WV-Licensure-Loopholes-10

Analysis of West Virginia's policies

West Virginia allows individuals from out-of-state who have completed an approved teacher education program but have not passed West Virginia licensing tests to teach under a temporary certificate. The state may issue a nonrenewable, one-year temporary certificate to individuals who otherwise meet all of the requirements for a professional certificate but who have not passed licensing tests. 

Citation

Recommendations for West Virginia

Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
While West Virginia's policy minimizes the risks brought about by having teachers in classrooms who lack sufficient or appropriate subject-matter knowledge by offering its temporary certificate for one year only, the state could take its policy a step further and require all teachers to meet subject-matter license requirements prior to entering the classroom.

State response to our analysis

West Virginia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

Research has shown that "the difference in student performance in a single academic year from having a good as opposed to a bad teacher can be more than one full year of standardized achievement." See E. Hanushek, "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," The Journal of Political Economy 100 No. 1 (1992): 84-117. Hanushek has also found that highly effective teachers can improve future student earnings by more than $400,000, assuming a class of 20.  "The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality." National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper 16606 (2010).