FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                           Contact: David Brenna
Olympia, Washington – December 22, 2009

The PESB announced today that the web site, has launched. It is now available to teachers and other educators interested in the first of its kind online teacher assessment. The Washington State Legislature required the state to develop an external, uniform assessment for second-tier teacher licensure. The ProTeach Portfolio is the result of two years of extensive work. The ProTeach Portfolio will be ready for teachers to register on January 4, 2010. The site is only informational now; available to give teachers an opportunity to examine the assessment, the support tools and to begin planning for registration.

The assessment is “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.

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.