The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is committed to advancing initiatives that ensure equity in educator preparation, pathways, and workforce development. Diverse students and educators are a tremendous asset to our state and workforce, and our agency is committed to lifting up those assets as well as addressing inequities, disparities, and barriers within the overall educator preparation system caused by historical and institutionalized racism.
This page highlights several initiatives currently underway, as well as standards we uphold and programs we operate that advance equity.
PESB Cultural Competency Standards for Educators
The PESB upholds cultural competency standards in order to ensure the cultural responsiveness of Washington State educators. As background, in 2009 the Legislature charged the PESB with identifying model standards for Cultural Competency, in partnership with the Education Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC). Those standards we co-developed and are integrated into our educator preparation program standards and upheld across all programs.
First Peoples’ Language, Culture and Oral Traditions Certification
This certification program is designed to contribute to the prevention, recovery, revitalization, and promotion of First Peoples’ languages, and for tribal children to learn their language while at school. Participating sovereign tribal governments may certify individuals who meet the tribe’s criteria for certification as a teacher in the Washington state first peoples’ language, culture, and oral tribal traditions teacher certification program. The PESB honors the sovereign status of tribal governments in their sole expertise in the transmission of their indigenous languages, heritage, cultural knowledge, customs, traditions and best practices for the training of first peoples’ language, culture, and oral tribal traditions teachers. Learn more information about this certification program and read the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 181-78A-700 guiding the program.
Work Groups, Grants, and Pilots
The PESB is stewarding several work groups, grants, and pilot programs specifically for the purpose of advancing racial equity. Grants provide resources for new and innovative work in the field, work groups seek to address and investigate current policies with the aim of recommending improvements, and pilots often are provided by initial resources with the intention of gaining learnings and possibly scaling the work state-wide.
Pilot to Policy: Advancing Equity Grant and Work Group
The purpose of the pilot to policy grant and work group is to increase systemic equity in educator preparation programs across the state, by providing capacity building grants, technical assistance, training, and a work group focused on shared learning and resources. This work will also inform broader PESB policy for monitoring equity and cultural responsiveness of programs through the new Indicator Based Program Review (IBPR) process.
Teaching Equity Network Grant
The Teaching Equity Network is a network of cross-sector collaborators promoting equity in the educator workforce, partnerships between teacher preparation programs, community orgs, and school districts, and ongoing training on culturally responsive practices for educators. The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB), Washington Education Association (WEA) and the Center for Excellence in Careers in Education (CECE) are partnering to create and provide this opportunity and provide grants of up to $5,000 on an ongoing basis for partnership events across the state.
Testing Barriers Work Group
The purpose of the Testing Barriers Work Group is to thoroughly investigate the barriers that testing – particularly basic skills and content areas tests – create for candidates, particularly bilingual and candidates of color, and develop recommendations for consideration by the PESB Board and the legislature. The final report and recommendations will be released in May of 2018.
Social Emotional Learning Micro-Credential Pilot
Developing culturally responsive practices and an equity lens is an ongoing journey for educators. The PESB this year is piloting a micro-credential, a new, additional option for continuing education, that focuses on social emotional learning and that also has an additional element related to cultural responsiveness.
The PESB has core programs that also address equity in the educator workforce. The two programs listed below specifically focus on diversifying the educator workforce, and are bolstered by several resources and grants, as well as staff support and technical assistance.
Recruiting Washington Teachers Program
The Recruiting Washington Teachers Pilot Program is aimed at supporting diverse high school students to engage in exploring careers in teaching. The program has a deep foundation around equity surrounding the program structure and curriculum, including a strong social justice oriented curriculum and a pilot initiative that centers future bilingual educators of dual language programs and high school students who earn the Seal of Biliteracy.
Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification
Alternatives Routes serve as an alternative program model that allows candidates to earn their teaching certification, as opposed to traditional teacher preparation programs. These routes focus on a “learn to teach while teaching model” and are often more flexible, and often are better suited for diverse candidates already working or living in the local community. Additionally, these many alt route models focus on growing paraeducators into teachers, and the data shows that paraeducators are significantly more diverse than the teaching workforce.
“Grow Your Own” Pilot Program
The “Grow Your Own” Pilot Program is a privately funded grant initiative ending June 31, 2019. The purpose of this pilot program is to build an educator workforce that is representative of the district student population they serve and develop individuals to teach in the district’s identified high need subject areas