General Teacher Preparation Policy
The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Minimum Standards of Performance: West Virginia does not set meaningful minimum standards of performance for the categories of data that programs must report. The state does require a summary pass rate on state licensure examinations of 80 percent. This 80 percent pass-rate standard, while common among states, sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance.
Program Accountability: West Virginia does not articulate meaningful consequences for programs that fail to meet its minimum standard of performance. However, it does specify some consequences. An institution is designated overall "at risk" if it is "at risk" or "low performing" in any of four areas for two consecutive years, and overall "low performing" if "at risk" or "low performing" in two or more of the four areas for two consecutive years. The criteria are: 1) accreditation status (probationary accreditation is labeled at risk; two or more standards unmet are labeled low performing; 2) Praxis II content area exam pass rates; 3) Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching exam pass rates (75-80 percent pass rate is at risk; less than a 75 percent pass rate is low performing); 4) recognition of programs of study (two or more programs recognized with condition or with further development required qualifies as at risk; having any program not recognized qualifies as low performing). However, it is not clear at what point program approval is revoked.
State Report Cards: West Virginia does not produce and publish an annual report card that shows all the data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs. The state does have access to the annual reports that programs are required to submit to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Program Approval Process: West Virginia maintains full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. The state requires CAEP accreditation for all programs to be reapproved, but CAEP accreditation is not sufficient for program approval, as programs must meet West Virginia standards as well. All programs must be approved by the West Virginia Board of Education on recommendation from the Educator Preparation Program Review Board.
Title 126 Legislative Rules, Board of Education, Series 114, Policy 5100 Policy 5100 §126-114-4. Policy 5100 (§126-114-5 Policy 5100 [ §126-114-14] Policy 5100 §126-114-12.3.a. §126-114-13. Educator Preparation Program Review Board (EPPRB) http://caepnet.org/~/media/Files/caep/state-partners/west-virginia-caep-partnership.pdf?la=en
West Virginia was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.
1D: Program Reporting Requirements
The state should examine a number of factors when measuring the performance of and approving teacher preparation programs. Although the quality of both the subject-matter preparation and professional sequence is crucial, there are also additional measures that can provide the state and the public with meaningful, readily understandable indicators of how well programs are doing when it comes to preparing teachers to be successful in the classroom.
States have made great strides in building data systems with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher performance. These same data systems can be used to link teacher effectiveness to the teacher preparation programs from which they came. States should make such data, as well as other objective measures that go beyond licensure test pass rates, central components of their teacher preparation program approval processes, and they should establish precise standards for performance that are more useful for accountability purposes.
National accrediting bodies, such as CAEP, are raising the bar, but are no substitute for states' own policy. A number of states now have somewhat more rigorous academic standards for admission by virtue of requiring that programs meet CAEP's accreditation standards. However, whether CAEP will uniformly uphold its standards (especially as they have already backtracked on the GPA requirement) and deny accreditation to programs that fall short of these admission requirements remains to be seen. Clear state policy would eliminate this uncertainty and send an unequivocal message to programs about the state's expectations.