FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Wallace, (360)725-4951, email@example.com
Olympia, Washington - October 23rd, 2013
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced today that the proposal submitted by Washington State’s Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) was among those from 7 states selected to participate in a 2-year pilot focused on transforming educator preparation and entry systems. CCSSO created the Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP), with commitments of support from 17 national organizations, to work with states deemed ready to take action in key policy areas to ensure all educators are ready on the first day of their career to prepare our students for college, work and life. Other states selected include: Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. “These seven states are on the leading edge of making substantive changes in the policy and practice of educator preparation,” said Chris Minnich, CCSSO Executive Director. Over the next two years, the PESB will receive grant funds to work collaboratively with preparation programs, state agencies, educator associations and others to improve the way we prepare our educator workforce. Governor Jay Inslee, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, and Student Achievement Council Executive Director Gene Sharratt submitted letters of support for Washington’s participation in the project.
In December 2013 CCSSO released Our Responsibility, Our Promise –Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession. The report contains ten recommendations that focus on three state policy levers: licensure, program approval, and data collection, analysis and reporting, to improve the way we prepare our educator workforce. The states participating in the pilot will use these recommendations as the foundation for their state action plans. In preparing for participation in the project, states conducted needs assessments related to the report recommendations. Washington State reported a strong foundation of rigorous and relevant standards and assessments for educator preparation and certification, with a system for continuous updating. The work ahead and focus of Washington’s action plan for this pilot project will be design for transparent data systems to support continuous improvement and accountability of educator preparation as well as inform district hiring and workforce development strategies. In addition, Washington’s action plan reflects concern for policy and guidance for a career-long continuum for educators, including high quality beginning teacher induction and mentoring, and supporting teachers and principals in continuously improving their practice and refreshing their professional knowledge throughout their careers.
“We are proud we were selected, and excited about this opportunity and the chance to work intently with these other states and the expertise brokered by CCSSO to accelerate progress here in Washington State”, stated PESB Chair and National Board Certified Teacher