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The MIT program at Whitworth University upholds state and national standards for preparing highly qualified teachers in Washington State.
WEST-B and WEST-E Exams
In 2000 the Washington State Legislature passed HB 2760, which created the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). In addition to its authority and responsibilities related to high standards for Washington educators, the PESB has authority for assessing the basic skills and content knowledge of prospective teachers applying to educator preparation programs and applicants for residency certification in Washington State. For additional information, visit the PESB Web site at www.pesb.wa.gov.
The Washington Educator Skills Tests (WEST) were established as a uniform means of assessing the basic skills competency and content knowledge of all teacher candidates, as proposed by the governor, legislature, state board of education, and superintendent of public instruction. The WEST program administered by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson includes assessments of both teacher candidates' basic skills competency and their content knowledge.
- The Washington Educator Skills Test—Basic® (WEST–B®) is designed to measure basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing that are required for teachers to be successful in their educator preparation programs. Passing the WEST–B is also required of individuals prepared and/or certified out of state seeking a Washington State Teaching Certificate. The explicit purpose of the WEST–B is to help identify candidates with the required level of basic skills to perform successfully in an educator preparation program or as a teacher in a public school classroom.
The WEST–B contains three separate subtests: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. The Reading and Mathematics subtests each consist of approximately 60 multiple-choice questions. The Writing subtest consists of approximately 50 multiple-choice questions and 2 writing prompts.
- The new Washington Educator Skills Tests—Endorsements (WEST–E) measure the content knowledge required of candidates seeking an endorsement to a Washington State Teaching Certificate and are fully aligned with the state's teacher endorsement competencies and Essential Academic Learning Requirements. The explicit purpose of the WEST–E is to help identify candidates with the required level of content knowledge for Washington's endorsements. Endorsements are required for teaching certificates to demonstrate that teachers have the appropriate subject knowledge for their teaching assignments.
Each WEST–E test consists of approximately 110 multiple-choice questions. For the Elementary Education and Middle Level Humanities fields, the test is composed of two subtests, and each subtest consists of approximately 55 multiple-choice questions.
Performance Based Pedagogy Assessment (PDF)
The Performance-Based Pedagogy Assessment (PPA) is a Washington State mandated assessment tool. The PPA requires the teacher candidate to provide evidence of the ability to meet the WAC Residency standards and positively impact student learning. Performance-based assessment means the standards must be met through direct observation of teaching and the collection of evidence of student learning during student teaching.
The Scoring Rubric consists of 10 standards and accompanying criteria. The first five are used to assess the written Sources of Evidence which are addressed during your MIT coursework at Whitworth, and the second five are used during observation of student teaching. The following shows the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Residency Standards addressed in the Scoring Rubric. The Scoring Rubric begins on the next page. Your evaluator will record your progress relative to meeting each criterion in the Scoring Rubric on either the Scoring Rubric itself, or the Assessment Record that follows the Scoring Rubric.
Purpose of the Teacher Work Sample
The goal of the TWS is that the teacher education candidates in the MIT program are able to produce teacher-based evidence that they have the knowledge and skills to provide effective learning experiences for the students they are or will teach. The expectation is that this teacher-based evidence will produce student-based evidence as manifested by increased student opportunities, engagement, and learning.
The Teacher Work Sample is:
- Documented knowledge and skills of what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do
- Credible written evidence of a teacher candidate's ability to facilitate student learning
- Evidence of exhibiting proper writing traits and mechanics
- Document that can be used as a portfolio during the interview process
- Used as a reference as teacher candidates prepare for the Professional Certification
- Used as a base as some MITs work toward earning National Board Certification
- Source of reference of what the MIT has learned during their professional preparation and how they applied the knowledge and skills acquired to how and what they teach