PESB's November newsletter

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November 2018

In this issue

Scholarships available for paraeducators to earn AA degree

The Pipeline for Paraeducators Conditional Loan Scholarship provides funding for paraeducators interested in earning their residency teaching certificate. To qualify, candidates must:

  • Have a minimum of three years of classroom experience
  • Not have a college degree

The scholarship awards candidates 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 award date, making them eligible to enroll in an Alternative Route 1 program to earn certification, and teach for a minimum of two years in a subject matter shortage area.

The next deadline to submit your application is December 11th.

For more information on the requirements and responsibilities of candidates, please visit our website.

Using data to track goals

In our 2016-2020 strategic plan, we established six overarching goals that, when pursued and met, would further our mission of ensuring educator quality. Our agency uses data displays to demonstrate progress towards key performance indicators that are within each of the goals. 

Of the six strategic goals we have, we recently released our first set of displays showing progress towards goal five. As additional data becomes available, we intend to create pages for the remaining goals as well.

Visit our website to learn more.

board mtgs

Professional Educator Standards Board

  • November 29-30, 2018 at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver - See agenda
  • January 10-11, 2019 at ESD 113 in Tumwater
  • March 21-22, 2019 at Seattle Airport Marriott in Seattle

Paraeducator Board

  • November 28, 2018 at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver - See agenda
  • January 9-10, 2019 at ESD 113 in Tumwater
  • March 20-21, 2019 at Seattle Airport Marriott in Seattle

Follow us online and join the conversation with #PESBimpact 

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Contact us

  • Email:
  • Phone: 360.725.6275
  • Website:

New report highlights RWT progress and success

The Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) program supports underserved, multicultural, and multilingual students as they explore and prepare for future teaching careers.

The RWT 2017-18 Annual Report is now published on our website. The report provides a review of the program experience, an evaluation of its overall effectiveness, and a look into the program's future.

Program highlights for the 2017-18 academic year include:

  • Over half of students (59%) reported an increased interest in a teaching career
  • Learning laboratories were comprised of an average of 88% students of color
  • 100% of high school seniors who applied to college were accepted to at least one school
  • 96% of high school seniors across all pilot sites graduated on time
  • The RWT program expanded to include the RWT-Bilingual Educator Initiative (RWT-BEI), a pilot project focused on developing bilingual teachers and resources for supporting teacher academies with a bilingual focus. New programs began operation in the 2018-19 school year

To learn more, please visit our website.

Annual agency snapshot now available

A new PESB "snapshot" report highlights annual achievements, program milestones, and progress towards agency goals. 

The report is a compilation of brief updates around the innovative policy work that PESB does to advance educator quality, workforce development, and diversity. The report also reinforces our continued commitment to stakeholder collaboration to address:

  • Reducing barriers to allow access to the educator profession
  • Increasing investments for building educator pathways
  • Fully funding and supporting the paraeducator certificate program

See the report.

New WEST-B time extension for ELL candidates

A new WEST-B time extension is now available for English Language Learner (ELL) candidates. 

In addition to candidates with disabilities, individuals for whom English is not a primary language may now request an extension of testing time, up to one-and-a-half times the standard test session length, as part of the Alternative Arrangements Request process.

Read the announcement.

Legislative priorities approved, new resources available

At the September Board meeting, members of PESB and the Paraeducator Board approved the 2019 legislative agenda. There are three areas of focus:

  • Supporting students through high-quality paraeducators
  • Educator pathways through grow your own programs
  • Eliminating testing barriers

With this charge, we can collectively address educator shortages while at the same time increasing teacher diversity in the profession. Supporting our students means investing in our educators.

We are working on releasing new resources to help our partners and stakeholders better understand the importance of these focus areas. Included in these resources are:

For legislative questions, please contact Justin Montermini at

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#PESBimpact: What we did at the DEW


Diversifying the Educator Workforce (DEW) events focus on strategies that increase underrepresented candidates in the educator workforce and help develop action to further grow the next generation of educators.

On October 31, PESB and the Gates Foundation co-hosted a DEW conference with a focus on preparation programs and districts providing more supportive, equitable, and culturally responsive pathways for future educators.

Attendees ranged from educators, students, administrators, community organizers, and various partners from across the state and nation. Participants engaged in vulnerability, knowledge-sharing, growth-centered conversations, and developed practical takeaways to help shape and guide their work.

Robert Hand, Washington's 2019 teacher of the year, opened the conference with a reminder that “education is a practice of freedom.” Hand shared his personal journey towards advancing equity and also brought two students from his RWT cohort to tell their own stories.

Dr. Conra Gist, an associate professor of teaching and teacher education at the University of Houston was the keynote speaker. Her presentation focused on the role that educator preparation programs play in advancing equity and pointed to academic research on diversifying the workforce. 

The day was also filled with informative and engaging breakout sessions where attendees had the opportunity to participate in dialogue and strategic planning. 

For twitter highlights from this event, please search #WAdiverseteach.

PESB and the Gates Foundation fully thank and commend everyone who supported, engaged and served the event in any capacity. We look forward to the next DEW event in March, where we will focus on educator retention.