2011 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require professional development to be based on needs identified through teacher evaluations.
West Virginia requires that teachers receive a signed copy of their observation form after each 30-minute classroom observation as well as have a post-observation conference with the supervisor. In addition, evaluations must provide written recommendations for meeting performance criteria and characteristics.
Professional growth plans and development plans can be requested for teachers with five or more years of experience who have not received an unsatisfactory rating when the supervisor determines it to be necessary. The state does not specify that professional development activities must be aligned with findings from teacher evaluations.
West Virginia Code 126-142-10
Ensure that professional development is aligned with findings from teachers' evaluations.
Professional development that is not informed by evaluation results may be of little value to teachers' professional growth and aim of increasing their effectiveness in the classroom. West Virginia should ensure that districts utilize teacher evaluation results in determining professional development needs and activities for all teachers, not just those requested by supervisors.
West Virginia asserted that the coursework required to renew a license may be prescribed by the county as a result of the teacher's evaluation.
The policy the state points to does stipulate that credits taken for license renewal may be "prescribed by the county as a result of an applicant's evaluation." However, this policy does not ensure that professional development activities are aligned with teachers' evaluations, particularly because the state offers a lifetime license after a teacher has completed two licensure renewals, which are required every five years. Thus, after teaching in West Virginia for 10 years, a teacher is no longer required to renew his or her license, and any professional development associated with this activity ceases to be required as well.