The state Board of Education did not approve changes to Policy 5310 (Educator Evaluations) during their meeting on Sept. 9 and 10. Instead, board members decided to take it up during their October 14-15 meeting.
The revisions to Policy 5310 first proposed in July would further clarify changes to teachers’ evaluations, including the 15 percent of an evaluation tied to student growth on the Smarter Balanced for math and English/LA teachers, beginning with the current school year.
We have told state board members – and we will continue to tell them – that there are very good reasons not to tie your evaluations to standardized test scores.
These include: the lack of any requirement in the ESEA reauthorization pending before Congress that states must tie evaluations to testing; the problem of many older students spending little time and putting forth little effort on the Smarter Balanced; and because students learn at a different pace and many are not ready to be tested on the material at the same time.
State board members did, however, approve changes to three policies at the September meeting that directly affect teachers. They are Policy 5100 (Approval of Educator Preparation Programs), Policy 5202 (Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel) and Policy 5901 (Alternative Certification Programs).
The changes to Policy 5100 include:
| Language reflecting new endorsements in Earth & Space Science for grades 5 through Adult, an endorsement in General, Integrated Mathematics in grades 5 through Adult and also General Mathematics in grades 5-9. Language was also added requiring a master’s degree for the reading specialist endorsement.
| Language reflecting new PRAXIS II tests or assessment requirements that have been added for certification to teach some subjects. They include: a successful score on an assessment or interview that will satisfy a new American Sign Language requirement; a satisfactory score on a new Computer Science test; a successful score on a new English as a Second Language test; a sufficient score on a new Journalism test; a satisfactory score on a new General, Integrated Mathematics (5-Adult) test and a successful score on a new Gifted test. Also, certifications for Autism and General, Integrated Mathematics cannot be added by exclusively taking the PRAXIS content exams.
| Clarification of clinical and field experience.
The changes to Policy 5202 include:
| New language specifying what a person who wishes to add endorsements in Mental Impairments (mild/moderate), Multi-Categorical and Specific Learning Disabilities must do to receive the endorsements. The available options involve college/university coursework or successful PRAXIS scores. The policy also addresses what an early childhood, elementary or a secondary education teacher must do to receive special education specializations.
| New requirements for obtaining an additional endorsement in American Sign Language.
| Language reflecting legislative changes to the Early Childhood Classroom Assistant Teacher Authorization (ECCAT) and Paraprofessional Certification positions.
| Several changes to obtaining temporary and permanent Career and Technical Education certificates.
| New language that clarifies the paraprofessional competency exam is a requirement to be a qualified paraprofessional.
| Changes that give currently employed professional employees preference for coaching positions.
Major revisions to Policy 5901 reflect legislative changes that create new pathways to alternative certification for teachers in the state. House Bill 2005, which in part allows Teach for America in West Virginia for the first time, passed earlier this year and is the reason for these changes.
Some of the policy changes include:
| Language that an alternative program teacher cannot displace a certified professional educator in any event.
| Specifics that any alternative certification program must be through a partnership with schools or school districts, institutions of higher education, entities affiliated with an institution of higher education, the state Department of Education, and/or a Regional Education Service Agency (RESA).
| Language that specifies an alternative teaching certificate is good for three years (and may not be renewed) as long as the alternative program teacher makes satisfactory progress in the program.
WVEA seeks to keep you apprised of policies the West Virginia Board of Education has on public comment. We urge you to read the synopsis of proposed policy revisions listed below and respond to the WVDE with your comments.
The following WVBE Policies are now on public comment. The comment period will end at 4:00 p.m. on September 14.
To find these and other policies on the WVDE website go to - http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.
Policy 2520.16, Next Generation Alternate Academic Achievement Standards for Science in West Virginia Schools
Policy 2520.16 is being repealed and replaced with the Next Generation Alternate Academic Achievement Standards for Science in West Virginia Schools. This action will ensure alignment of West Virginia's alternate academic achievement standards with the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives and the alternate assessment in the area of science consistent with ESEA requirements and the ESEA Flexibility Request. Policy 2520.16 defines the alternate academic achievement standards in science for elementary, middle, and high school students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
Policy 2525, West Virginia Universal Access to Early Education System
Several changes in requirements related to WV Universal Pre‑K necessitate updates to Policy 2525 to ensure continued alignment to related WVBE policies, Head Start Federal requirements, and evolving continuous quality improvement strategies in WV Universal Pre-K Programs. Policy 2525 changes include provisions to ensure collaboration with existing programs as required by W. Va. Code §18‑5‑44. Updates reflect health enrollment requirements from Policy 2423, Health Promotion and Dental Prevention, specifically related to dental examinations. Policy changes reflect the title change of the Universal Pre-K Formative Assessment System to align with other grades. Revisions reflect changes to W. Va. Code §18-5-18 addressing changes to Early Childhood Classroom Assistant Teachers eligible for retirement by 2020. Changes to Policy 2525 also include updates to WV Universal Pre-K Program Assessment and Continuous Quality Improvements to address current needs and collaborative requirements in health and safety assurance. Adjusted definitions reflect policy changes. Revisions to Policy 2525 meet W. Va. Code changes, align with federal collaborative requirements, and provide a continued focus on healthy and safe high-quality educational programs to all eligible pre-k students.
Policy 3233, Establishment and Operation of Regional Education Service Agencies
Changes to Policy 3233 will align code revisions from the 2015 legislative session to update technology terminology and confirm the responsibilities of each regional council.