Richmond Schools and Provisional Teacher Licenses

The Virginia regulation says

The Provisional License is a nonrenewable license valid for a period not to exceed three years issued to an individual who has allowable deficiencies for full licensure as set forth in this chapter.

VDOE says there is a link between teacher training and student learning:

Standards for teachers, administrators and other educators in Virginia’s public schools recognize the link between preparation and content knowledge and student achievement.

To the extent teacher training is linked to student achievement, larger numbers of provisional licensees reflect a problem with school quality because those licensees are teaching without the preparation required for a regular license.

The School Quality Profiles from VDOE have a download page. Under “Teacher Quality,” that page offers data, 2020 only, with counts of provisional licenses statewide, by division, and by school.

The database offers numbers for All Schools, High Poverty, and Low Poverty. The data further come subdivided for Title I, Non-Title I, and All Schools. The Feds tell us that school divisions

target the Title I funds they receive to schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. If a Title I school is operating a targeted assistance program, the school provides Title I services to children who are failing, or most at risk of failing

Here, then, are the Richmond and state data, expressed as percentages.


The database lists all the Richmond schools as High Poverty, but provides “All Schools” Richmond numbers that are slightly different from the “High Poverty” values. Go Figure.

In any case, the Richmond All Schools/All Schools number, 15.4%, is 2.26 times the state average. As to Non-Title I, Richmond’s percentage is 1.9 times the state average; for Title I (the great majority of Richmond schools), that ratio is 2.2.

Turning to the Richmond elementary schools, we see:


The Non-Title I schools here are Munford, Holton, and Fox.

Next, the middle schools.


River City is the renamed Elkhardt-Thompson. Indeed, the map on the VDOE Web site still lists the school by the former name.

All the middle schools are Title I.

Finally the high schools


The selective schools are colored green. Community, Open, Huguenot, and TJ are Title I.

Note: Franklin also has middle school grades.

To the extent that the Federal count in 2018 measures provisional licensees, it looks like the numbers improved between 2018 and 2020: 22.5% down to 15.4%. Stay tuned while I find out whether RPS will pony up the data by year, including this year, so we can all see the complete picture.