The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Emergency License(s) Availability: West Virginia offers the First Class Full-time Permit and a Teacher-in-Residence Permit. These permits are available for districts with shortage areas. Candidates for either license must be currently enrolled in an educator preparation program, and must have a recommendation from their preparation program. Candidates for the First Class Full-Time Permit must also have a bachelor's degree. Candidates for the Teacher-in-Residence Permit must pass a basic skills test and the applicable content tests.
Emergency License Validity Period: The First Class Full-Time Permit is valid for one year and is renewable four times for a total of five years. Permit holders must complete six semester hours per renewal toward program completion. The Teacher-in-Residence Permit is valid for one year; it is unclear whether the permit may be renewed.
COVID-19 State Policy: West Virginia has implemented the following changes to its rules regarding Provisional and Emergency Licensure. Candidates unable to take the Praxis Principles of Learning (PLT) tests will be issued a temporary professional teaching certificate. The certificate is nonrenewable. Candidates who are unable to take Praxis content exams may apply for a clinical permit with the institution's recommendation. COVID-19 policies do not affect the state's grade in Provisional and Emergency Licensure. .
Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers: Because licensure requirements for out-of-state teachers are scored in Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers, only the state's policies regarding emergency/provisional license(s) are considered as part of this goal.
West Virginia Board Policy 5202 Section 4.64 and 11 Career Pathways Leading to a Professional Teaching Certificate https://wvde.us/educator-quality-and-effectiveness/recruitment-and-retention/ COVID-19 Information: https://wvde.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/EdPrep-COVID-Guidance-v1.pdf
Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
All students are entitled to teachers who know the subject matter they are teaching. Permitting individuals who have not yet passed state licensing tests to teach neglects the needs of students, because it enables adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards to earn teaching licenses. West Virginia should ensure that all teachers are required to pass licensing tests — an important minimum benchmark for entering the profession — before entering the classroom as the teacher of record.
Limit exceptions to one year.
Although suboptimal, there may be limited and exceptional circumstances under which conditional or emergency licenses are necessary. In these instances, it is reasonable for a state to give teachers up to one year to pass required licensing tests. West Virginia's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach for up to five years without passing required licensing tests.
West Virginia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
6B: Provisional and Emergency Licensure
Teachers who have not passed content licensing tests place students at risk. While states may need a regulatory basis for filling classroom positions with a few people who do not hold full teaching credentials, many of the regulations permitting this put the instructional needs of children at risk, often year after year. For example, schools can make liberal use of provisional certificates or waivers provided by the state if they fill classroom positions with instructors who have completed a teacher preparation program but have not passed their state licensing tests. These allowances are permitted for up to three years in some states. The unfortunate consequence is that students' needs are neglected in an effort to extend personal consideration to adults who cannot meet minimum state standards.
While some flexibility may be necessary because licensing tests are not always administered with the needed frequency, making provisional certificates and waivers available year after year could signal that the state does not put much value on its licensing standards or what they represent. States accordingly need to ensure that all persons given full charge of children's learning are required to pass the relevant licensing tests in their first year of teaching, ideally before they enter the classroom. Licensing tests are an important minimum benchmark in the profession, and states that allow teachers to postpone passing these tests are abandoning one of the basic responsibilities of licensure.