PESB monthly newsletter: agency updates and reminders

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September 21, 2018

board mtgs

Professional Educator Standards Board

  • September 27-28, 2018 at the DoubleTree in Spokane.  Meeting materials. Register online to listen to these meetings.
  • November 29-30, 2018 at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver
  • January 10-11, 2019 at ESD 113 in Tumwater

Paraeducator Board

  • September  26-27, 2018 at the Doubletree in Spokane. Meeting materials. Register online to listen to these meetings.
  • November 28, 2018 at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver
  • January 9-10, 2019 at ESD 113 in Tumwater
board mtg materials

In other news...

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In this issue

New testing barriers report calls for changes at state and program levels

The demographic gap between the racial, cultural, and linguistic background of Washington State's students and their teachers has persisted despite intensive efforts to recruit and retain teacher candidates of color and bilingual teachers. 

Nearly 50% of our students identify as students of color, while only 11% of teachers identify as educators of color.

In response to this issue, PESB formed the Testing Barriers Work Group to review research and programmatic data related to standardized tests for pre-service teachers to determine whether and to what extent the tests serve as barriers.

After consideration of literature and studies produced on behalf of this effort, the Work Group generated their final recommendations. The recommendations call for a system that values all the skills that contribute to what makes a great teacher - including community knowledge, cultural responsiveness, social emotional skills, and ability to develop relationships with students and families.

Visit our website to read and download the full report.

Micro-credential pilot grant kicks off with convening

micro-credential kickoff

On August 16, 2018, the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) welcomed 90 educators from across the state to the micro-credential pilot kick-off. Sixteen organizations are receiving grant funds to pilot and implement micro-credentials this fall. The organizations include large and small school districts, ESDs, non-profit organizations, and public and private colleges and universities. These organizations will be piloting micro-credentials in:

  • Culturally Responsive Social Emotional Learning
  • Elementary Computer Science: Computational Thinking Unplugged
  • Recruiting Washington Teachers: Professional learning for educators leading RWT programs

PESB looks forward to seeing the positive impact these micro-credentials will have on educators. We will be hosting a micro-credential policy convening in January 2019 to dive deeper into what role micro-credentials have in state policy.

Learn more about the micro-credential pilot grant.

Scholarship money available to help paraeducators earn their Associates degree

The Pipeline for Paraeducators Conditional Loan Scholarship provides funding for paraeducators interested in earning their residency teaching certificate, who have a minimum of three years classroom experience and no college degree, with up to $4,000 towards earning their Associate of Arts (AA) degree from a Washington community or technical college. Those awarded will be required to complete their AA within two years of the award date, making them eligible to enroll in an Alternative Route 1 program to earn certification, and teach for a minimum of two years.

The next deadline is December 11th; however we are happy to accept applications early. Please pass this message along to any and all interested paraeducators.

More information on the requirements and responsibilities of candidates are now available on the Pipeline for Paraeducators Conditional Loan Scholarship page of the PESB website.

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Robert Hand named Washington's 2019 teacher of the year


Robert Hand, a family and consumer sciences instructor at Mount Vernon High School, has been named Washington's 2019 teacher of the year. In his application, Robert wrote that he considers the lack of diversity in the teaching workforce a major issue in public education. About nine in 10 teachers in Washington state identify as white, compared with just 55 percent of students.

Robert has been a critical leader and supporter of PESB's Grow Your Own initiatives. He helped develop the online curriculum for the Recruiting Washington Teachers program, and continues to be a strong supporter and advocate for the work our agency is doing to help diversify the educator workforce. 

Read more about Robert's nomination and award.