Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should have a data system that contributes some of the evidence needed to assess teacher effectiveness.
West Virginia has a data system with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness.
West Virginia has all three necessary elements of a student- and teacher-level longitudinal data system. The state has assigned unique student identifiers that connect student data across key databases across years and has assigned unique teacher identifiers that enable it to match individual teacher records with individual student records. It also has the capacity to match student test records from year to year in order to measure student academic growth.
Data Quality Campaign www.dataqualitycampaign.org
Develop a clear definition of "teacher of record."
West Virginia has not yet established a definition of teacher of record, which is essential in order to use the student-data link for the purpose of providing value-added evidence of teacher effectiveness. To ensure that data provided through the state data system are actionable and reliable, West Virginia should articulate a definition of teacher of record and require its consistent use throughout the state.
West Virginia noted that it defines teacher of record as the specific teacher to whom students are assigned, according to the school's master schedule. This definition is used for highly qualified teacher data collection.
The state should consider whether its current definition will be appropriate and suitable for performance-based teacher evaluations. The indication from states that are ahead in bringing these systems online is that their NCLB definitions need to be reconsidered for this purpose.