Teachers Awarded 150 Clock Hours for Passing the ProTeach Portfolio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                         Contact: David Brenna
                                                                                                                 360-725-6238 david.brenna@k12.wa.us

Olympia, Washington – October 15, 2010

Teachers who pass the ProTeach Portfolio, the new assessment for the professional certificate, will earn 150 clock hours, equal to earning 15 credits. The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) took action recognizing the new requirement for the professional certificate would not benefit teacher’s salaries in the same way as the former requirement of taking college/university coursework.

The reduced cost of achieving professional certification online, and the salary increase, will be welcome news to teachers. PESB Chair Stephen Rushing states, “The PESB wanted to create a second-tier certificate process that makes sense to teachers, re-enforces their work, and honors the talents they possess. I believe the demands on teacher’s time need to be respected as they meet the high standards for professional certification. A pay bump supplied in the way of the 150 clock hours was a high priority for the PESB.”

New state law changes the way for earning the professional certificate to an online portfolio assessment called the ProTeach Portfolio. Registration is simple and available at www.WAProTeach.org. Once registered, teachers use their private, password-protected website to create and build their evidence-based portfolio. “Our system supports teachers by providing a work space for building their portfolios, making it simple to collect and store evidence electronically. No more 3-ring binders, file cabinets, sticky notes are needed—all the evidence can be uploaded to their secure website.” said Esther Baker, PESB Director of Educator Assessments. Teachers can revise, edit and add to their portfolio as often as necessary until they are satisfied with the final results at the submission deadline. Teachers register after earning at least 1.5 FTE teaching experience and have up to fourteen months to complete their portfolio.

The new assessment can be taken without support; however, a network of independently-operated programs provide cohort-based support. The support providers are ESDs, colleges/universities and the Washington Education Association. For a complete list, go to http://www.pesb.wa.gov/educators/professional-certificate/teacher/proteach.

During these economically fragile times, the Board also reminds that this is a cost-neutral approach, because credits awarded as part of the former college/university coursework requirement provided a similar salary increase. For more information, go to www.pesb.wa.gov or 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.