2017 General Teacher Prep Programs Policy
The state should require annual evaluations with frequent observations of all principals. This goal was new in 2017.
Evaluation frequency: West Virginia requires annual evaluations for all principals.
Observation/site visits requirements: West Virginia does not require observations/site visits; however, the state offers examples of evidence that may be used to evaluate professional practice, which "may include observable practices and other tangible items or artifacts."
Evaluator training: West Virginia state policy requires evaluator training; however, the state does not require evaluator certification or a process that would ensure inter-rater reliability.
West Virginia BOE Policy 5310
Require multiple observations/site visits for all principals.
To ensure that annual evaluations are based on adequate information, West Virginia should require multiple observations/site visits for all principals.
Require all principal evaluators to be both trained and certified.
All principal evaluators in West Virginia should be trained and certified to conduct teacher evaluations on systems that include objective measures. Ensuring that all principals are appropriately trained and certified in conducting teacher evaluations will help ensure that all principals are able to provide their teachers with fair and valid evaluations.
West Virginia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it will make a requirement that those completing principal evaluations be retrained every four years to assist in rater reliability and validity.
West Virginia further reiterated that all principals are evaluated annually, and that observation is not a required component and will not be. All evaluators are trained by the West Virginia Center for Professional Development.
7H: Principal Evaluation and Observation
Research demonstrates that there is a clear link between school leadership and school outcomes. Principals foster school improvement by shaping school goals, policies and practices, and social and organizational structures. Principals vary significantly in their effectiveness, and research suggests that high-quality principals positively affect student achievement, in-school discipline, parents' perceptions of schools, and school climates. Further, principals affect teacher retention and recruitment; effective principals are more adept at retaining effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers. The time principals spend on organizational management, instructional programming, and teacher evaluation is critically important for positive effects on teachers and students. Because principals are an essential component of creating successful schools, their effectiveness should be regularly evaluated by trained evaluators on systems that include objective measures. Such systems will help to ensure that all principals receive the feedback and support necessary to improve their practice and, ultimately, student and school outcomes.