FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: David Brenna
Olympia, Washington – November 24, 2009
The Professional Educator Standards Board announces the completion of piloting for the ProTeach Portfolio. The first of its kind evidence-based electronic licensure assessment for the professional educator underwent pilot testing with 105 teachers from across the state. The assessment goes live online in January. Scoring was conducted by educators fully trained by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Pilot participants receive their professional certificate if they meet the passing score. The pilot contributes to the passing score setting process.
“The assessment, currently under development, will be the first large-scale, consequential portfolio assessment to be delivered and scored online in the United States” according to Innovations, the ETS testing industry publication. ETS invested $5.5 million and with their partner, LiveText, are ready to deliver an innovation for Washington teachers. In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant to the PESB to fund research that will study whether the ProTeach Portfolio effectively identifies teachers who have a positive impact with students.
Teachers must pass this assessment in order to gain professional certification. The ProTeach Portfolio has a number of advantages for teachers establishing their credentials in Washington State. Registration is open year long, with up to 14 months possible between registration and submission of the teacher portfolio. Online registration in a user-friendly web format allows candidates access to their own web site where they can create their portfolio over time. Scoring is conducted by qualified Washington educators in a secure online environment; thus reducing the costs. Verification of teacher eligibility is conducted through existing data maintained by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, making registration immediate and simple.
Pilot participants provided important feedback to the ProTeach Portfolio process. Refinements are being made, such as improved templates, compressed time frames and access to classroom materials. In addition to noting areas in need of improvement, teachers praised the assessment. One teacher commented “the experience overall met my expectations” and was “better than what my colleagues had to do for pro cert courses”. Others praised the process for being in context with their classroom skills and achievements, and the opportunity to reflect positively on their practice. “I really did learn about my teaching strengths and weaknesses” said another. Many reflected on the rigor and challenges, suggesting a sense of high achievement and professional growth. “As a teacher who completed the National Board and ProCert process, I'm very glad to see the similarities between [NBCT and ProTeach Portfolio] and think Washington students will benefit from the improvements.” said Elizabeth Davis from Lakewood High School.
The ProTeach Portfolio web site will be available early December and ready for candidate registration January 4, 2010 at WWW.WAProTeach.org.
The Professional Educator Standards Board was established by the Legislature in 2000 and is responsible for setting and upholding high standards for the profession, ensuring that students encounter high-quality educators throughout their school experience. This deliberative body fulfills the state's intent for the profession to be self-governing, with a composition primarily of practicing educators and administrators joined by representatives from educator preparation programs, parents and citizens.