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 2021.
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%. This 80% pass-rate standard, while common among states, sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance.
Program Accountability: Although West Virginia does not set minimum standards of performance, the state does delineate 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:
West Virginia State Board of education Policy 5100 West Virginia CAEP Agreement http://caepnet.org/working-together/state-partners
Establish meaningful minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
West Virginia should establish precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data it collects to help clarify expectations regarding program quality. The 80 percent pass rate standard is too low to be a meaningful minimum standard.
Ensure program accountability decisions are based on minimum standards of performance.
While West Virginia has the structure of a program accountability system, including follow-up actions for programs failing to meet standards, it has not set minimum standards it can use to implement this accountability process. As West Virginia further develops its accountability system, it should ensure that the system is sufficient to differentiate performance among programs, including alternate route programs, and that it is clear at what point a program's approval will be revoked. For programs exceeding minimum standards, West Virginia should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.
Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
In order to ensure that stakeholders have the most up-to-date information, West Virginia should produce an annual report card that clearly displays program-level data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs. This report card should, like the program reports, be publicly available on the state's website, at a minimum. Data should be presented in a manner that transparently conveys whether programs have met performance standards.
West Virginia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis; however, this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
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.