WV Board of Education approves flexibility for teacher candidates

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) approved a waiver to Policy 5202 to increase supports for students entering the teaching profession during its January meeting in Charleston today. The waiver will assist students with resources and structured support to pass the Praxis exam while they also gain important classroom teaching experience.

The WVBE and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) have been working to increase the pipeline of teachers in the state through creative and innovative initiatives such as the Grow Your Own West Virginia Pathway to Teaching program. This effort provides a pathway to teaching by removing barriers of cost and time for high school students interested in the profession.

Once in college, some students struggle to pass the Praxis II content exam(s) – a requirement to advance in their academic journey. Students usually take the exam after their sophomore year. Beginning immediately, the WVDE will offer flexibilities to candidates meeting specific requirements including:

  • Must have attempted the Praxis II content exam at least two times without meeting the required cut score*, and
  • Must have a ‘B’ or better average in the content area in which they are seeking licensure and completing clinical experience, and
  • Must receive the Recommendation of the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) assuring that the teacher candidate meets proficiency requirements to enter the clinical experience, and
  • Must have an EPP’s Focused Supervision Plan which must be submitted with the application (template to be provided by the WVDE Office of Certification), and
  • Must apply for and obtain a Restricted Clinical Permit, FORM 24C

*The Elementary Education Praxis II series – To meet the requirements for this flexibility, the candidate must have a minimum of two unsuccessful attempts for any section where the required cut score is not met.

The WVDE will partner with higher education institutions and county school systems to scaffold supports around those participating in the waiver option. This will include a mentor assigned to the teacher candidate; access to 12 months of test preparation through a partnership with Study.com; and increased assistance from the candidate’s college or university to be determined by faculty.

In other WVBE news, State Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach provided updates to the Ready, Read, Write, West Virginia campaign, the state’s comprehensive literacy initiative. Since his appointment, the Superintendent has joined WVBE President L. Paul Hardesty and members of the board in addressing student learning and achievement by focusing immediately on literacy and writing.

The WVDE launched Ready, Read, Write resources at wvde.us/ready-read-write to support educators, administrators, students and families in strengthening literacy skills among children. This information will be continuously updated and expanded to include training for teachers in the Science of Reading – the body of research on how the brain learns to read and write – and the accompanying instructional strategies that work best.

Ready, Read, Write resources are the cornerstone of our literacy efforts,” said Superintendent Roach. “Along with upcoming in-person professional development, we will add a full complement of videos and online supports so our teachers have access to training modules and lesson plans to implement instructional strategies.”

The next regularly scheduled WVBE meeting is 9 a.m., Wednesday, February 8, 2022, in Building 6, Room 600, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia.

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