Washington Educator Skills Test - Basic (WEST-B)
Evidence of basic skills is a requirement for all prospective teachers in Washington. Beginning September 1, 2013, prospective teachers may use SAT, ACT or WEST-B scores to meet the basic skills requirement for Washington teacher certification. Any combination may be used, as long as passing scores are achieved in each area: reading, writing, and mathematics. Basic skills proficiency is required in all three areas prior to admission to any of Washington State University’s teacher preparation programs (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or Master in Teaching).
Passing scores are defined as:
Reading – 22
Math – 22
Writing – 8
Reading – 500
Math – 515
Writing – 490
Reading – 240
Math – 240
Writing – 240
Additional information can be found on the Professional Educator Standards Board’s (PESB) website.
Content Exam (WEST-E, NES, ACTFL)Washington State requires teacher candidates and teachers adding endorsements to pass a content knowledge test for each endorsement to be earned.
Currently the Washington Educator Skills Test – Endorsement (WEST-E) fulfills the content knowledge requirement for all endorsements with the exception of Spanish, French, and bilingual education. Candidates seeking endorsements in these areas must also pass the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) exam, see below for additional information.
Beginning September 1, 2014, testing requirements will change for candidates seeking endorsements in mathematics, middle level mathematics, English language arts, reading, and elementary education. The new assessment, National Evaluation Series (NES), is a national exam that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and will replace the WEST-E. To pass the NES candidates must receive the national benchmark score.
Passing WEST-E scores will be accepted for candidates who complete WSU’s program after September 2014. Since WSU’s current program prepares students using endorsement competencies that align with the WEST-E, we strongly encourage candidates to take the WEST-E before the NES is offered in Washington.
Candidates who do not take the WEST-E before September 2014 will be required to complete the NES. Exams will be available computer-based much like the WEST-E exams and will be available at all the same testing centers.
Please note the NES will not be recognized in Washington unless it is taken after September 2014. Candidates who decide to take the NES MUST wait until September 2014.
Washington State University requires all students to pass the content exam prior to student teaching. To avoid delaying your student teaching it is advised that you take the WEST-E no later than the semester prior to student teaching.
Special Note to Designated World Language and Bilingual Candidates: In addition to completing the WEST-E, students completing endorsements in Designated World Languages after September 1, 2010, must pass the oral (interview or computerized version accepted) and written portions of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) exam at the advance low level. Bilingual candidates completing their program after September 1, 2009, must pass the ACTFL exam at the advance mid level in addition to the WEST-E.
For additional information review WSU’s WEST-E Frequently Asked Questions, the WEST or the Professional Educator Standards Board’s (PESB) website.
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