Senate Bill No. 236
(By Senators Kessler (Acting President) and Hall,
By Request of the Executive)
[Introduced January 21, 2011; referred to the Committee on Education.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18A-2-12 and §18A-2-12a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to providing for evaluation of professional personnel in the public schools; specifying certain professional personnel who must be evaluated; requiring evaluations to be at least annual; providing certain processes for evaluations and applicable dates; requiring State Board of Education to revise professional personnel evaluations; requiring State Board of Education to establish task force to address rule changes regarding professional personnel evaluations; requiring state board study of duties and responsibilities of certain professional employees and time required to accomplish evaluations; requiring use and reporting of study results; establishing task force reporting and recommendations; requiring state board report to Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability; establishing dates certain for submission of proposed rule and adopted rule and effective date of rule; requiring certain rule provisions; requiring provision of written evaluation results to persons evaluated; modifying related evaluation provisions to comport with changes; and making technical corrections and removing obsolete provisions throughout.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18A-2-12 and §18A-2-12a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.
§18A-2-12. Performance evaluations of school personnel; professional personnel evaluation process.
(a) The state board shall adopt a written system for the evaluation of the employment performance of personnel, which system shall be applied uniformly by county boards of education in the evaluation of the employment performance of personnel employed by the board.
(b) The system adopted by the state board for evaluating the employment performance of professional personnel shall be in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(c) For purposes of this section, "professional personnel", "professional" or "professionals", means professional personnel as defined in section one, article one of this chapter.
(d) In developing the professional personnel performance evaluation system, and amendments thereto, the state board shall consult with the Center for Professional Development created in article three-a of this chapter. The center shall participate actively with the state board in developing written standards for evaluation which clearly specify satisfactory performance and the criteria to be used to determine whether the performance of each professional meets such standards.
(e) The performance evaluation system shall contain, but shall not be limited to, the following information:
(1) The professional personnel positions to be evaluated, at least including classroom teachers, principals and county superintendents, and any other professional personnel to be evaluated, whether they be teachers professional educators or other professional employees or, substitute teachers; administrators, principals or others
(2) The frequency and duration of the evaluations, which shall be on a regular at least an annual basis and of such frequency and duration as to insure the collection of a sufficient amount of data from which reliable conclusions and findings may be drawn: Provided, That for school personnel with five or more years of experience, who have not received an unsatisfactory rating, evaluations shall be conducted no more than once every three years unless the principal determines an evaluation for a particular school employee is needed more frequently: Provided, however, That for classroom teachers with five or more years of experience who have not received an unsatisfactory rating, an evaluation shall be conducted or professional growth and development plan required only when the principal determines it to be necessary for a particular classroom teacher, or when a classroom teacher exercises the option of being evaluated at more frequent intervals;
(3) Effective on the effective date of this section and until a revised state board rule on professional personnel evaluations is adopted as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection and becomes effective, the processes for evaluating teachers, professional support personnel and athletic coaches shall be as follows:
(A) Teachers in their first or second year of employment shall be evaluated two times per year including a minimum of two observations of thirty minutes duration per evaluation;
(B) Teachers in their third year of employment shall have one evaluation per year including two observations of thirty minutes duration each;
(C) Additional observations and evaluations may be scheduled for teachers in their first, second or third year at the discretion of the principal to address deficiencies;
(D) Teachers in their fourth or subsequent year of employment who have not received an unsatisfactory evaluation rating shall be informally evaluated by the principal or assistant principal. The principal or assistant principal shall record the names of the teachers informally evaluated by him or her whose performance he or she determines to be satisfactory and for whom no further evaluative measures are required: Provided, That teachers in their fourth or subsequent year of employment who have not received an unsatisfactory evaluation rating shall be evaluated in accordance with paragraphs (B) and (C) of this subdivision or using a professional growth and development plan method of evaluation if requested in writing by the teacher or if the principal or assistant principal determines that it is necessary;
(E) Teachers in their fourth or subsequent year of employment who have received an unsatisfactory evaluation rating shall be evaluated using the processes specified in paragraphs (B) and (C) of this subdivision and as may be provided in a plan of improvement;
(F) The evaluation of professional support personnel and athletic coaches shall be conducted under a similar process; and
(G) The state board shall promulgate an emergency rule, as necessary, to implement the provisions of this subdivision;
(4) The state board shall promulgate a legislative rule in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, revising the professional personnel evaluation process in accordance with the following:
(A) The state board shall conduct a study of the duties and responsibilities required of principals, and assistant principals in schools where they are present, and the time required to perform these duties and responsibilities. The state board shall present the study and its findings to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability;
(B) The state board shall form a task force on professional personnel evaluations to advise it on needed revisions to the state board rule on professional personnel evaluations. The task force shall be comprised of at least the following representatives of the relevant stakeholders: county boards, superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and the Legislature;
(C) The task force shall be provided a copy of the study and its findings required in paragraph (A) of this subdivision and shall consider them in making its recommendations to the state board for the revision of the state board rule on professional personnel evaluations. The recommendations of the task force also shall include recommendations related to the personnel time required to accomplish the process and purposes of the professional personnel evaluations at each level of personnel;
(D) The state board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability as requested on its progress on revising its rule related to professional personnel evaluations and shall submit its proposed rule to the commission not later than December 1, 2011, along with any additional recommendations it may have on related changes necessary to accomplish the process and purposes of the professional personnel evaluations at each level of personnel. The state board shall submit the final rule adopted by the state board not later than February 1, 2012;
(E) The rule shall at least include annual evaluation procedures for classroom teachers, principals and county superintendents;
(F) The rule shall provide for the informal evaluation by the principal or assistant principal of teachers in their fourth or subsequent year of employment who have not received an unsatisfactory evaluation rating and for the recording by the principal of those teachers whose performance he or she determines to be satisfactory and for whom no further evaluative measures are required;
(G) Each person evaluated under the provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this subsection shall be provided written results of their evaluation; and
(H) The rule shall include an effective date of July 1, 2012.
(3) (5) The evaluation shall serve the following purposes:
(A) Serve as a basis for the improvement of the performance of the personnel in their assigned duties;
(B) Provide an indicator of satisfactory performance for individual professionals;
(C) Serve as documentation for a dismissal on the grounds of unsatisfactory performance; and
(D) Serve as a basis for programs to increase the professional growth and development of professional personnel;
(4) (6) The standards for satisfactory performance for professional personnel and the criteria to be used to determine whether the performance of each professional meets such standards and other criteria for evaluation for each professional position evaluated. Effective July 1, 2003 and thereafter, professional personnel, as appropriate, shall demonstrate competency in the knowledge and implementation of the technology standards adopted by the state board. If a professional fails to demonstrate competency, in the knowledge and implementation of these standards, he or she will be subject to an improvement plan to correct the deficiencies; and
(5) (7) Provisions for a written improvement plan, which shall be specific as to what improvements, if any, are needed in the performance of the professional and shall clearly set forth recommendations for improvements, including recommendations for additional education and training during the professional's recertification process.
(f) A professional whose performance is considered to be unsatisfactory shall be given notice of deficiencies. A remediation plan to correct deficiencies shall be developed by the employing county board of education and the professional. The professional shall be given a reasonable period of time for remediation of the deficiencies and shall receive a statement of the resources and assistance available for the purposes of correcting the deficiencies.
(g) No person may evaluate professional personnel for the purposes of this section unless the person has an administrative certificate issued by the state superintendent and has successfully completed education and training in evaluation skills through the center for professional development, or equivalent education training approved by the state board, which will enable the person to make fair, professional, and credible evaluations of the personnel whom the person is responsible for evaluating. After July 1, 1994, No person may be issued an administrative certificate or have an administrative certificate renewed unless the state board determines that the person has successfully completed education and training in evaluation skills through the center for professional development, or equivalent education and training approved by the state board.
(h) Any professional whose performance evaluation includes a written improvement plan shall be given an opportunity to improve his or her performance through the implementation of the plan. If the next performance evaluation shows that the professional is now performing satisfactorily, no further action may be taken concerning the original performance evaluation. If the evaluation shows that the professional is still not performing satisfactorily, the evaluator either shall make additional recommendations for improvement or may recommend the dismissal of the professional in accordance with the provisions of section eight of this article.
(i) Lesson plans are intended to serve as a daily guide for teachers and substitutes for the orderly presentation of the curriculum. Lesson plans may not be used as a substitute for observations by an administrator in the performance evaluation process. A classroom teacher, as defined in section one, article one of this chapter, may not be required to post his or her lesson plans on the Internet or otherwise make them available to students and parents or to include in his or her lesson plans any of the following:
(1) Teach and reteach strategies;
(2) Write to learn activities;
(3) Cultural diversity;
(4) Color coding; or
(5) Any other similar items which are not required to serve as a guide to the teacher or substitute for daily instruction. and
(j) The Legislature finds that classroom teachers must be free of unnecessary paper work so that they can focus their time on instruction. Therefore, classroom teachers may not be required to keep records or logs of routine contacts with parents or guardians.
(k) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit classroom teachers from voluntarily posting material on the Internet.
§18A-2-12a. Statement of policy and practice for the county boards and school personnel to minimize possible disagreement and misunderstanding.
(a) The Legislature makes the following findings:
(1) The effective and efficient operation of the public schools depends upon the development of harmonious and cooperative relationships between county boards and school personnel;
(2) Each group has a fundamental role to perform in the educational program and each has certain separate, distinct and clearly defined areas of responsibility as provided in chapters eighteen and eighteen-a of this code; and
(3) There are instances, particularly involving questions of wages, salaries and conditions of work, that are subject to disagreement and misunderstanding between county boards and school personnel and may not be so clearly set forth.
(b) The purpose of this section is to establish a statement of policy and practice for the county boards and school personnel, as follows, in order to minimize possible disagreement and misunderstanding:
(1) County boards, subject to the provisions of this chapter, chapter eighteen of this code and the policies and rules of the state board, are responsible for the management of the schools within their respective counties. The powers and responsibilities of county boards in setting policy and in providing management are broad, but not absolute;
(2) The school personnel shares the responsibility for putting into effect the policies and practices approved by the county board that employs them and the school personnel also have certain rights and responsibilities as provided in statute, and in their contracts;
(3) School personnel are entitled to meet together, form associations and work in concert to improve their circumstances and the circumstances of the schools;
(4) County boards and school personnel can most effectively discharge their total responsibilities to the public and to each other by establishing clear and open lines of communication. School personnel should be encouraged to make suggestions, proposals and recommendations through appropriate channels to the county board. Decisions of the county board concerning the suggestions, proposals and recommendations should be communicated to the school personnel clearly and openly;
(5) Official meetings of county boards are public meetings. School personnel are free to attend the meetings without fear of reprisal and should be encouraged to attend;
(6) All school personnel are entitled to know how well they are fulfilling their responsibilities and should be offered the opportunity of open and honest evaluations of their performance on a regular basis and in accordance with the provisions of section twelve of this article. All school personnel are entitled to opportunities to improve their job performance prior to the termination or transfer of their services. Decisions concerning the promotion, demotion, transfer or termination of employment of school personnel, other than those for lack of need or governed by specific statutory provisions unrelated to performance, should be based upon the evaluations, and not upon factors extraneous thereto. All school personnel are entitled to due process in matters affecting their employment, transfer, demotion or promotion; and
(7) All official and enforceable personnel policies of a county board must be written and made available to its employees.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for annual evaluations of professional personnel in schools.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.