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Introduced Version Senate Bill 372 History

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Senate Bill No. 372

(By Senators Kessler (Mr. President) and Hall,

By Request of the Executive)

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[Introduced January 20, 2012; referred to the Committee on Education.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §18A-2-12 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §18A-3C-1, §18A-3C-2 and §18A-3C-3, all relating to exclusions from the definition of “professional personnel” for evaluation purposes; new system of performance evaluations of professional personnel, specifically teachers, principals and assistant principals; instituting specific percentages for the evaluation score based on student performance and peer evaluations; implementing new standards for teacher mentoring program; and potential loss of funding for not instituting new teacher mentoring standards.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §18A-2-12 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §18A-3C-1, §18A-3C-2 and §18A-3C-3, 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 but does not include professional personnel subject to the evaluation processes established pursuant to the provisions of section two, article three-c 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, whether they be teachers, substitute teachers, administrators, principals or others;

    (2) The frequency and duration of the evaluations, which shall be on a regular 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 is necessary for a particular classroom teacher or when a classroom teacher exercises the option of being evaluated at more frequent intervals;

    (3) 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) 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) 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.

ARTICLE 3C. IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING.

§18A-3C-1. Purposes.

    (a) The purpose of this article is to create a comprehensive infrastructure that routinely supports a continuous process for improving teaching and learning. Its focus is on developing strong teaching and school leadership, without which effective learning does not occur. The general components of this infrastructure include the following:

    (1) High-quality teacher preparation, induction and evaluation;

    (2) Universal support for emerging teachers including comprehensive new teacher induction and support for student teachers, teachers teaching in assignments for which they have less than a full professional credential and teacher candidates pursuing certification through an alternative route;

    (3) Evaluation of the performance of teachers and leaders in demonstrating high quality professional practice, leadership and collaboration and the resulting growth in student learning;

    (4) Focused improvement in teaching and learning through the use of evaluation data to inform the delivery of professional development and additional supports to improve teaching based on the evaluation results and to inform the need for improvements in teacher preparation programs; and

    (5) The creation of a leadership culture that seeks and builds powerful alliances among all stakeholders focused on continuous growth in student learning.

    (b) For purposes of this article “professional personnel” includes, but is not limited to, classroom teachers, assistant principals and principals as defined in section one, article one chapter eighteen-a of this code.

§18A-3C-2. Performance evaluations of professional personnel.

    (a) The intent of the Legislature is to allow for a multi-step statewide implementation of performance evaluations for professional personnel pursuant to this section consistent with sound educational practices and resources available resulting in full state-wide implementation by no later than the school year 2013-2014. Beginning with the schools included in the evaluation processes for professional personnel piloted by the Department of Education during the 2011-2012 school year, additional schools or school systems shall be subject to the provisions of this article in accordance with a plan established by the state board to achieve full statewide implementation by no later than the school year 2013-2014. For schools and school systems subject to the provisions of this article, the provisions of this article shall govern when they are in conflict with other provisions of this chapter and chapter eighteen of this code. Specifically, the provisions of this article govern for the performance evaluation of classroom teachers, principals and assistant principals employed in these schools and school systems. To the extent that this article conflicts with the provisions of section twelve, article two of this chapter relating to professional personnel performance evaluations, this article shall govern. The state board shall submit a report on its plan for the phased implementation of this article to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability at the Commission’s July interim meeting in each year of the phased implementation. The report shall include the positions to be evaluated, the evaluation process and a list of the schools and school systems subject to the provisions of this article.

    (b) Before July 1, 2013, the state board shall adopt a legislative rule in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, for evaluating the performance of each professional personnel each year. The rule shall provide for performance evaluations of professional personnel to be conducted in accordance with this section in each school and school system beginning with the 2013-14 school year.

    (c) The process adopted by the state board for evaluating the performance of classroom teachers shall incorporate at least the following:

    (1) Alignment with the West Virginia professional teaching standards adopted by the state board that establish the foundation for educator preparation, teacher assessment and professional development throughout the state;

    (2) Employment of the professional teaching standards to provide explicit and extensive measures of the work of teaching and what teachers must know and be able to do and provide evaluative measures of educator performance;

    (C) The use of two pieces of evidence at two points in time over the instructional term to demonstrate student learning as an indicator of educator performance; and

    (D) The use of school’s school-wide student learning growth as measured by the state-wide summative assessment as an evaluative measure of all educators employed in the school.

    Eighty percent of the evaluation shall be based on an appraisal of the educator’s ability to perform the critical standard elements of the professional teaching standards. The appraisal shall include conferences with the evaluator reinforced through observation. Twenty percent of the evaluation shall be based on the evidence of the student learning, of which fifteen percent shall be evidence of the student learning of students assigned to the educator and five percent shall be student learning growth measured by the school-wide score on the state summative assessment.

    (d) The process adopted by the state board for evaluating the performance of principals and assistant principals shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

    (1) Alignment with the West Virginia professional leadership standards adopted by the state board establishing the responsibility effective principals for the collective success of their school including the learning, growth and achievement of students, staff and self;

    (2) Employment of the professional leadership standards to provide explicit and extensive measures of the work of school leadership focused on the continuous improvement of teaching and learning;

    (3) The use of data, evidence and artifacts to confirm the principal’s performance on achieving the goals established by the principal and superintendent based on the identified needs of the principal and the school including, but not limited to, the school’s score on the state summative assessment; and

    (4) The use of stakeholder surveys of students, parents and teachers regarding the overall effectiveness of the principal on elements of the school leader standards.

    (e) Evaluations of the performance of professional personnel shall serve the following purposes:

    (1) Serve as a basis for the improvement of the performance of the professional personnel in their assigned duties;

    (2) Serve as the basis for providing professional development specifically targeted on the area or areas identified through the evaluation process as needing improvement. If possible, this targeted professional development should be delivered at the school-site using collaborative processes, mentoring or coaching or other approaches that maximize use of the instructional setting;

    (3) Serve as the basis for establishing priorities for the provision of county-level professional development when aggregate evaluation data from the county’s schools indicates an area or areas of needed improvement;

    (4) Serve as a basis for informing the teacher preparation programs in this state of an area or areas of needed improvement in the programs, or informing a specific program of needed improvement, when state-level aggregate evaluation data indicates that beginning teachers who have graduated from the program have specific weaknesses;

    (5) Provide an indicator of level of performance of the professional personnel;

    (6) Serve as a basis for programs to increase the professional growth and development of professional personnel; and

    (7) Serve as documentation for a dismissal on the grounds of unsatisfactory performance.

    (f) The rule adopted by the state board shall include standards for performance of professional personnel and the criteria to be used to determine whether their performance meets the standards. The rule also shall include guidance on best practices for providing time within the school day for teachers subject to performance evaluations under this section to participate in the collaborative, mentoring or coaching and planning processes necessary for execution of the performance evaluation process and achieving advanced levels of performance.

    (g) The rule adopted by the state board shall include provisions for written improvement plans when necessary to improve the performance of the professional personnel. The written improvement plan shall be specific as to what improvements are needed in the performance of the professional personnel and shall clearly set forth recommendations for improvements including recommendations for additional education and training of professionals subject to recertification. Professional personnel 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.

    (h) Professional personnel whose performance is considered to be unsatisfactory shall be given written notice of his of her deficiencies. A written improvement plan to correct these deficiencies shall be developed by the employing county board of education and the employee. The professional personnel shall be given a reasonable period of time, not exceeding twelve months, to accomplish the requirements of the improvement plan and shall receive a written statement of the resources and assistance available for the purposes of correcting the deficiencies. 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 written recommendations for improvement or may recommend the dismissal of the professional personnel in accordance with the provisions of section eight, article two of this chapter.

    (i) 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.

§18A-3C-3. Comprehensive system for teacher induction and professional growth.

    (a) The intent of the Legislature is to allow for a multistep statewide implementation of a comprehensive system of support for building professional practice of beginning teachers, specifically those on the initial and intermediate progressions, consistent with sound educational practices and resources available. In this regard, it is the intent of the Legislature that the transition of schools and school systems to a comprehensive system of support that includes support for improved professional performance targeted on deficiencies identified through the evaluation process will be implemented concurrent with the first year that a school or system receives final evaluation results from the performance evaluation process pursuant to section two of this article. Further, because of significant variability among the counties, not only in the size of their teaching force, distribution of facilities and available resources, but also because of their varying needs, the Legislature intends for the implementation of this section to be accomplished in a manner that provides adequate flexibility to the counties to design and implement a comprehensive system of support for improving professional performance that best achieves the goals of this section within the county. Finally, because of the critical importance of ensuring that all teachers perform at the accomplished level or higher in the delivery of instruction that at least meets the West Virginia professional teaching standards and because achieving this objective at a minimum entails providing assistance to address the needs as indicated by the data informed results of annual performance evaluations, including the self-assessed needs of the teachers themselves, the Legislature expects the highest priority for county, regional and state professional development will be on meeting these needs and that the transition to a comprehensive system of support for improving professional practice will reflect substantial redirection of existing professional development resources toward this highest priority.

    (b) On or before July 1, 2012, the state board shall publish guidelines on the design and implementation of a comprehensive system of support for improving professional practice. The purpose of the guidelines is to assist the county board with the design and implementation of a system that best achieves the goals of this section within the county. The guidelines may include examples of best practices and resources available to county boards to assist them with the design and implementation of a comprehensive system.

    (c) Effective for the school year beginning July 1, 2013, and thereafter, a county board is not eligible to receive state funding appropriated for the purposes of this section or any other provision of law related to beginning teacher internships and mentor teachers unless it has adopted a plan for implementation of a comprehensive system of support for improving professional practice, the plan has been verified by the state board as meeting the requirements of this section and the county is implementing the plan. The plan shall address the following:

    (1) The manner in which the county will provide the strong school-based support and supervision that will assist beginning teachers develop instructional and management strategies, procedural and policy expertise, and other professional practices they need to be successful in the classroom and perform at the accomplished level. Nothing in this subdivision prohibits a school or school system that was granted an exception or waiver from section two-c, article three of this chapter prior to the effective date of this section from continuing implementation of the program in accordance with the exception or waiver;

    (2) The manner in which the county will provide strong school-based support and assistance necessary in cooperation with teacher preparation programs in this state to make student teaching a productive learning experience;

    (3) The manner in which the county will use the data from the educator performance evaluation system to serve as the basis for providing professional development specifically targeted on the area or areas identified through the evaluation process as needing improvement. If possible, this targeted professional development should be delivered at the school-site using collaborative processes, mentoring or coaching or other approaches that maximize use of the instructional setting;

    (4) The manner in which the county will use the data from the educator performance evaluation system to serve as the basis for establishing priorities for the provision of county-level professional development when aggregate evaluation data from the county’s schools indicates an area or areas of needed improvement;

    (5) If a county utilizes master teachers, mentors, academic coaches or any other approaches utilizing individual employees to provide support, supervision or other professional development or training to other employees for the purpose of improving their professional practice, the manner in which the county will select each of these individual employees based on demonstrated superior performance and competence as well as the manner in which the county will coordinate support for these employees;

    (6) The manner in which the county will utilize local resources available including, but not limited to, funds for professional development and academic coaches, to focus on the priority professional development goals of this section;

    (7) The manner in which the county will adjust its scheduling, use of substitutes, collaborative planning time, calendar or other measures as may be necessary to provide sufficient time for professional personnel to accomplish the goals of this section as set forth in the county’s plan; and

    (8) The manner in which the county will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of implementation and outcomes of the county system of support for improving professional practice.

    (d) Effective the school year beginning July 1, 2013, and thereafter, appropriations for beginning teacher mentors and any new appropriation which may be made for the purposes of this section shall be expended by county boards only to accomplish the activities as set forth in their county plan pursuant to this section. Effective the school year beginning July 1, 2013, and thereafter, no specific level of compensation is guaranteed for any employee service or employment as a mentor and such service or employment is not subject to the provisions of this code governing extra duty contracts.

    (e) The Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability shall review the progress of the implementation of this article and may make any recommendations it deems necessary to the Legislature during the 2013 regular legislative session.



    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to phase-in a new evaluation process for professional personnel and institute a comprehensive teacher mentoring system in West Virginia.

 

    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.


    Article 3C is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

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