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Assessment Reports

Assessment Report 2012-2013

Executive Summary


In 2000, the Washington State Legislature directed the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to establish the teacher assessment system. The system includes an assessment of basic skills in reading, mathematics and writing plus an assessment of the content knowledge required for each of the endorsements. The timeline established in law stated that passing the basic skills test was to be required of candidates beginning September 1, 2002, and passing the content knowledge tests was to be required of candidates for each endorsement beginning September 1, 2005.

The Washington Educator Skills Test Basic (WEST-B)

The Professional Educator Standards Board established the Washington Educator Skills Test Basic (WEST-B) as a requirement for admission to approved teacher preparation programs in Washington. The WEST-B is also required of persons from out-of-state seeking a Washington State residency teaching certificate.


The WEST-B was administered for the first time in August of 2002. The WEST-B is a requirement specified in RCW 28A.410.220 which measures basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing. These are administered through three subtests. 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 reading and mathematics subtests have 60 multiple choice questions each. On the writing subtest, examinees respond to 50 multiple choice questions and 2 writing prompts.

During this past year, the WEST-B has been given on four different dates at nine locations throughout the state. This assessment will be administered as a computer-based test beginning November 2013. .


During the eleventh year of administration a total of 3,920 prospective teachers were tested. Of the 3,920 total WEST-B examinees in 2012-13:

  • 39 identified themselves as American Indian/Alaskan Native. 
  • 182 identified themselves as Asian/ Pacific Islander. 
  • 75 identified themselves as Black/African American. 
  • 227 identified themselves as Hispanic. 
  • 160 identified themselves as multi-racial. 
  • 2865 identified themselves as White. 
  • 372 provided no response as to their ethnicity.

1,160 were out-of-state applicants who indicated that they attend or attended a college or university outside Washington State on their registration form in response to a background question regarding the undergraduate college or university attended.


Note: Designations for gender and ethnicity are based on examinees responses to a question on the registration form that is “optional.” Because some examinees did not respond to this question, the sum of examinees in the reporting groups may not equal the number of “Total Examinees.”


During the 2012-13 test year, 3,920 examinees attempted at least 1 subtest, 80% passed all three on their first attempt. The initial passing rates for the individual subtests were;

  • 95.% of 3,905 examinees passed the reading subtest. 
  • 95% of 3,899 examinees passed the mathematics subtest. 
  • 90% of 3,887 examinees passed the writing subtest.


Examinees can retake WEST-B subtests, so cumulative pass rates are higher than first attempt pass rates with 91% of the 4,098 examinees during the 2012-2013 test year eventually passing all three subtest

  • 98% of 3,980 examinees eventually passed the reading subtest.

  • 97% of 3,970 eventually passed the mathematics subtest.

  • 94% of 4,003 eventually passed the writing subtest. 

Cumulative pass rates results were also calculated for ethnic subgroups of examinees. The numbers below reflect those who over time passed all three subtests.
  • Of the 43 American Indian/Alaskan Natives, 97% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 195 Asian/Pacific Islander, 83% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 86 Black/African Americans, 70% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 255 Hispanic, 78% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 167 multi-racial, 89% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 2960 White, 95% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 392 no response about their ethnicity, 90% met the requirement.

This report reflects the first time the pass rate data was actively pulled from the vendor report site, and includes the cumulative pass rate. The cumulative pass rate demonstrates the pass rate of examinees who have retaken the test multiple times to pass the test.)


To see more data related to the WEST-B for the past five years, please visit: WEST-B charts .

Washington Educator Skills Tests Endorsements (WEST-E)

RCW 28A.410.220 directs the PESB to require content knowledge tests of candidates applying for a residency teaching certificate. The WEST–E tests measure the subject knowledge required of candidates seeking a content-based teaching assignment. Most WEST–E tests consist of 110 multiple-choice questions. The Elementary Education and Middle Level Humanities tests are each composed of two subtests; each subtest consists of 55 multiple-choice questions. The Designated World Languages test consists of 55 multiple-choice questions. The Designated World Languages: Latin test consists of approximately 70 multiple-choice questions, a translation assignment, and an oral reading assignment.


During the 2012-13 testing year, the WEST-E tests continued the statewide transition phase of tests being administered as paper-based tests to computer-based test. The  transition phase began in November 2011 and will continue until January 2014 when all WEST tests will be administered as computer-based tests. WEST computer-based testing is available year-round by appointment, Monday through Saturday (excluding some holidays).  WEST computer-based testing is available at more than 225 Pearson Professional Centers throughout the United States and its territories (e.g., Puerto Rico), as well as at over 30 international test centers, including in Canada and Mexico. Currently there are 17 test centers located in Washington State.


For the 2012-13 year, the statewide number tested by the individual WEST-E tests ranged from 3 to 2,220 examinees. The initial or first attempt pass rates range from 52% to 100%. Twenty tests had initial passing percentages above 80%.   


The WEST-E Elementary Education subtests have the largest number of test takers.  The Elementary Education subtest 1 covers the Mathematics, Science and Physical Education content areas. Elementary Education subtest 2 includes English Language Arts, Social Studies and Art content areas.

  • 2,214  examinees took the WEST-E Elementary Education subtest 1 and the initial pass rate was 85% .
  • 2,220  examinees took the WEST-E Elementary Education subtest 2 and the initial pass rate of 89 %.  
  • The cumulative pass rate for WEST-E Elementary Education subtest 1 was 94% .
  • The cumulative pass rate for the WEST-E Elementary Education subtest 2 was 95%. 
WEST-E Elementary Education subtest 1 initial pass rates were calculated for the following ethnic subgroups: 
  • Of the 20 American Indian/Alaskan Natives, 68% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 82 Asian/Pacific Islander, 78% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 28 Black/African Americans, 77% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 133 Hispanic, 67% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 80 multi-racial, 87% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 1,699 White, 85% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 172 no response about their ethnicity, 87% met the requirement

WEST-E Elementary subtest 2 initial pass rates were calculated for the following ethnic subgroups: 

  • Of the 19 American Indian/Alaskan Natives, 72% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 83 Asian/Pacific Islander, 74% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 30 Black/African Americans, 70% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 136 Hispanic, 66% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 80 multi-racial, 86% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 1,704 White, 86% met the requirement. 
  • Of the 168 no response about their ethnicity, 94% met the requirement.

Note: Extreme caution should be used in interpreting data for small numbers (<100) of examinees. The examinees for whom results are presented in this document may not reflect the same proportion of all the types and capabilities of examinees in the population who will take the tests in the future.


WEST-E Middle Level Science percentage passing rates were calculated for the following  subgroups:

  • 9 identified themselves as Not yet accepted into teacher prep program and initial rate of 0%. 
  • 59 identified themselves as Accepted, not finished student teaching and initial pass rate of 44%. 
  • 8 identified themselves as Student teaching complete and initial pass rate of 0%.
  • 19 identified themselves as Teacher prep complete, not yet certified and initial  pass rate of 58%.
  • 48 identified themselves as Certified and initial  pass rate of 42%.

WEST-E Middle Level Math percentage passing rates were calculated for the following subgroups: 
  • 25 identified themselves as Not yet accepted into teacher prep program and initial rate of 84%. 
  • 104 identified themselves as Accepted, not finished student teaching and initial pass rate of 79%. 
  • 10 identified themselves as Student teaching complete and initial pass rate of 80%. 
  • 33 identified themselves as Teacher prep complete, not yet certified and initial pass rate of 91%. 
  • 145 identified themselves as Certified and initial pass rate of 68%.

Subgroups reflecting a zero percentage rates reflect low number of test takers therefore calculations are not completed.

Note: Extreme caution should be used in interpreting data for small numbers (<100) of examinees. The examinees for whom results are presented in this document may not reflect the same proportion of all the types and capabilities of examinees in the population who will take the tests in the future.


To see more data related to the WEST-E tests, please visit WEST-E data charts


To view passing rates by Washington's institutions visit: WEST-E Pass Rates  

Note: The data reflects information collected from Washington's institutions for Title II purposes. These tables will be updated with 2011-12 information after data is collected in spring 2014.