FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: David Brenna
Olympia, Washington – October 16, 2009
Board Acts to Smooth Transition for Teachers
The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) acted during their September 23, 2009 meeting to change rules in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) pertaining to teachers transitioning from residency licensure to a professional certificate. Changes to WAC 181-78A and 181-79A finalize the policy efforts to improve the continuum of educator preparation with a uniform, external assessment for the second tier license.
The changes do a number of things to make the process and transition effective. First, teachers will no longer be required to attend a college or university preparation program to achieve their professional certificate. This will significantly reduce the costs to teachers for this requirement. The external assessment also responds to another criticism from teachers; that returning to higher education classes was not relevant to their professional experience. The ProTeach Portfolio (external assessment) is completed by the teacher in the context of their daily classroom experience, and measures their performance against clear, meaningful standards.
Eligibility for initiating ProTeach is not less than 2 years successful teaching, but does not require current employment, allowing options for teachers who are in transition to go forward with their careers. The assessment continues with the expectation that teachers prepare a professional growth plan and designate a professional growth team of experienced teachers, mentors and administrators to guide their development. The candidate has time to complete and submit their portfolio (14 months) and options for extending their residency certificate and re-submitting elements of their portfolio if they do not receive passing scores.
The PESB also acted to provide transition renewals to teachers who will be the first to engage the new assessment. If a teacher license is due to expire in 2010 or 2011, they will be given an immediate two year extension once they register for the ProTeach Portfolio. The rule also gives a teacher the option of enrolling in an existing preparation program during the transition; until the end of 2011, and receives their professional certificate with either successful completion of the program or submission of the ProTeach Portfolio as part of their college/university plan.