Washington: College and Career Policies

The assessment department of the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) manages all mandated educator assessments. The Washington State Legislature directed the PESB to establish the educator assessment system.

In grades 3-8, students take Smarter Balanced tests and MSP for federal accountability. Student scores on these tests determine a school’s adequate yearly progress (AYP) status. In high school, students take Smarter Balanced tests and the biology EOC for federal accountability. Student scores on these tests determine a school’s AYP status. All 11th graders will take the Smarter Balanced tests in ELA and math. Students take the biology EOC as they complete that course, typically by the end of 10th grade. High school students must also pass tests, or state-approved alternatives, to be eligible to graduate. Required tests vary by expected year of graduation. A student’s expected year of graduation is set when he/she enters the 9th grade.

Washington State began developing Teacher/Principal Evaluation Project (TPEP) as a part of it's Race to the Top application. It moved the state from an unsatisfactory two-tier system to a four-tier system, with new criteria for teachers and principals to be evaluated upon.

Washington adopted new science standards in 2013. These standards are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Washington Professional Educator Standards Board establishes policies and guidelines for educator certification.

Washington adopted new social studies standards in 2013.

In order to become a certified teacher in Washington, an applicant must be at least 18 years old, have good moral character, pass the required assessments, and complete an approved teacher preparation program.

The Washington professional educator standards board shall:
(1) Establish policies and practices for the approval of programs of courses, requirements, and other activities leading to educator certification including teacher, school administrator, and educational staff associate certification;
(3) Establish a list of accredited institutions of higher education of this and other states whose graduates may be awarded educator certificates as teacher, school administrator, and educational staff associate and establish criteria and enter into agreements with other states to acquire reciprocal approval of educator preparation programs and certification, including teacher certification from the national board for professional teaching standards;

The Superintendent of Public Instruction has full authority to adopt standards.

Five teacher preparation program standards were approved by the Washington legislature.

Teachers must acquire 150 approved clock hours of continuing education study and/or equivalent academic credit (15 quarter hours or 10 semester hours) must be completed every five years.

Washington updated the English language arts standards in 2011. These standards are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Washington updated the educational technology standards in 2008.

4 credits of English are required to graduate.

Washington updated the world language standards in 2010.

The assessments that are required are: Smarter Balanced, implementing 2014-15 school year; Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) for Reading and Writing grades 3-8. End of Course Exams for ELA. High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) exam for high school students.

The State Board of Education has authority over the adoption of Career and Technical Education Standards, adopted in 2011.

Washington updated and adopted new health and fitness standards in 2016.

Washington updated the math standards in 2011. These standards are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Washington requires 8 credits of "other" courses to graduate.

Washington requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

Administrators must complete 150 approved clock hours of continuing education study and/or equivalent academic credit every five years to renew their license

The assessments that are required are: Smarter Balanced, implementing 2014-15 school year; Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) for Math in grades 3-8. End of Course Exams for Math. High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) exam for high school students.

Washington has performing arts standards in dance, theatre, and music.

These standards describe what all students should know and be able to do in the area of Environmental and Sustainability Education.

Washington updated visual art standards in 2011.

Washington has not adopted any professional development standards.

The State Board of Education and Department of Education share authority over the adoption of assessments. Superintendent has Authority but this is shared in some capacity with SBE.

Washington requires 2 credits of science courses for graduation through the class of 2018. For classes following this, the requirement will be 3 classes of science courses.