West Virginia is doing a middling job of delivering well-prepared teachers to its classrooms, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality.
The report, released Wednesday, looked at education policy nationally and in all 50 states for the ways those states are handling teacher evaluations, and especially teacher preparedness.
It ranked states in five areas related to teacher quality. West Virginia's grades ranged from three D-plus grades (in identifying and retaining effective teachers, and exiting ineffective teachers) to two C-minus grades (for delivering well-prepared teachers and expanding the pool of teachers).
The report identified several areas of policy that need attention in West Virginia: admission into teacher preparation programs isn't rigorous enough, it said, and elementary, secondary and special education teachers aren't well prepared for the classroom. It also said that student teaching programs need attention.
"Preparing teachers to be effective and successful in the classroom requires both the strong state policy framework .<!p>.<!p>. and quality implementation," the report reads.
Michelle Blatt, an assistant state superintendent for educator quality and system support, didn't argue with the report's findings, but she did have a response: they're working on it.
"I think the key thing is that when you look at this report it is all areas that are on the forefront of the governor's office, the legislature and the Department of Education,"' she said. "They are all things that are being addressed but it's not a quick process."
This year's sweeping education reform package included a handful of changes meant to improve teacher preparedness, but officials are still working to put many programs and policies in place.
A committee, dubbed the "high quality education committee" was formed after the legislation passed earlier this year, and has met several times to discuss issues related to educator quality. That group was composed of 75 individuals from all sectors of the education community, Blatt said. "It was all the players."
"We're aware of all those areas that need to be focused on and that's really what this committee has started focusing on," Blatt said. "And there's so much involved, you can't tackle just one piece, you have to be working on all of these pieces simultaneously."
At its December meeting, the state Board of Education will see a list of recommendations that came out of this committee's meetings. That list is currently in the works, but not yet public. It's due to the Governor's office by the end of the year.Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.