fpo-proteach-logoThe PESB announced in January that registration for the ProTeach Portfolio is now open. Teachers seeking their professional certification can log onto www.WAProTeach.org and prepare their portfolio online.

The ProTeach Portfolio is the first of its kind online teacher assessment. The Washington State Legislature required the state to develop an external, uniform assessment for second-tier teacher licensure. The ProTeach Portfolio is the result of two years of extensive work.

The first portfolio submission date for teachers who register now is June 28, 2010. The PESB has developed transition rules that assure that teachers with residency certificates that expire during the transition (until December, 2011) will have adequate time to complete their portfolios. New to the site is the candidate guide that can be downloaded. The guide contains information for teachers preparing their portfolio. There is also a technical guide with help for using the web site tools.

The assessment is “the first large-scale, consequential portfolio assessment to be delivered and scored online in the United States” according to Innovations, the ETS testing industry publication. ETS invested $5.5 million and with their partner, LiveText, are ready to deliver an innovation for Washington teachers. In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant to the PESB to fund research that will study whether the ProTeach Portfolio effectively identifies teachers who have a positive impact with students.

Teachers must pass this assessment in order to gain professional certification. The ProTeach Portfolio has a number of advantages for teachers establishing their credentials in Washington State. Registration is open year long, with up to 14 months possible between registration and submission of the teacher portfolio. Online registration in a user-friendly web format allows candidates access to their own web site where they can create their portfolio over time. Scoring is conducted by qualified Washington educators in a secure online environment; thus reducing the costs. Verification of teacher eligibility is conducted through existing data maintained by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, making registration immediate and simple.

The Professional Educator Standards Board was established by the Legislature in 2000 and is responsible for setting and upholding high standards for the profession, ensuring that students encounter high-quality educators throughout their school experience. This deliberative body fulfills the state's intent for the profession to be self-governing, with a composition primarily of practicing educators and administrators joined by representatives from educator preparation programs, parents and citizens. www.pesb.wa.gov