Annual Assessment Report 2011-12

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 measures basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing through three subtests. Test objectives were developed for each subtest to be consistent with the Washington Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs). 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.

The WEST-B was administered for the first time in August of 2002. September 2012 marked the end of the tenth year of administration of the WEST-B as a requirement specified in RCW 28A.410.220. During this past year, the WEST-B has been given on six different dates at ten locations throughout the state.

  • During the tenth year of administration a total of 3,810 prospective teachers were tested. Of the 3,810 total WEST-B examinees in 2011-12:
    • 33 identified themselves as American Indian/Alaskan Native.
    • 194 identified themselves as Asian/ Pacific Islander.
    • 69 identified themselves as Black/African American.
    • 226 identified themselves as Hispanic.
    • 165 identified themselves as multi-racial.
    • 2775 identified themselves as White.
    • 348 provided no response as to their ethnicity.
For number of prospective teachers tested for the past eight years see chart Number Taking the WEST-B
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 2011-12 test year, 3,810 examinees attempted at least 1 subtest, 77% passed all three on their first attempt.
  • The initial passing rates for the individual subtests were;
    • 94.% of 3,477 examinees passed the reading subtest.
    • 95% of 3,644 examinees passed the mathematics subtest.
    • 89% of 3,602 examinees passed the writing subtest.

Since examinees can retake WEST-B subtests, cumulative pass rates are higher than first attempt pass rates with 87% of the 3,810 examinees during the 2011-2012 test year eventually passing all three subtests; 96% of 3,767 examinees eventually passing the reading subtest; 96% of 3,746 eventually passing the mathematics subtest; and 93% of 3,739 eventually passing the writing subtest.

Note: Designations for gender and ethnicity are based on examinee response 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.”

  • Cumulative pass rates results were also calculated for ethnic subgroups of examinees. Those who passed all three subtests met the requirement. 
    • Of the 33 American Indian/Alaskan Natives, 70% met the requirement.
    • Of the 194 Asian/Pacific Islander, 68% met the requirement.
    • Of the 69 Black/African Americans, 57% met the requirement.
    • Of the 226 Hispanic, 54% met the requirement.
    • Of the 165 multi-racial, 76% met the requirement.
    • Of the 2,775 White, 81% met the requirement.
    • Of the 348 no response about their ethnicity, 75% met the requirement.
  • 1,740 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.    
Washington Educator Skills Tests Endorsements (WEST-E)

RCW 28A.410.220 directed the PESB to require content knowledge tests of candidates applying for endorsements to the residency certificate. The test requirement was implemented on September 1, 2005. Initially, the Praxis II series tests, administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), were selected to fulfill the requirement. In 2006, the PESB directed that content knowledge tests fully align to Washington standards. Test development and implementation occurred in three phases between 2006 and 2010. Phase I concluded on September 1, 2008  with 26 WEST-Es implemented. Ten tests were implemented at the end of Phase II on September 1, 2009, and  the last WEST-E test was implemented in January 2010. During the 2010-11 testing year, the WEST-E tests were administered on seven dates at nine sites across Washington.

To see full range of scores and tests, visit WEST-E By Student Status

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.

  • The state-wide number tested by the individual WEST-E tests ranged from 2 to 2,634 examinees. The pass rates range from 49% to 100%. Twenty-nine tests had passing percentages above 80%. Six tests had passing percentages below 80%. 
  • Of the 2,634 examinees who took the WEST-E Elementary subtest 1 (Math/Science/Health& Fitness).
    • 226 identified themselves as Not yet accepted into teacher prep program and cumulative pass rate of 88%.
    • 1,362 identified themselves as Accepted, not finished student teaching and cumulative pass rate of 88%.
    • 109 identified themselves as Student teaching complete and cumulative pass rate of 79%.
    • 475 identified themselves as Teacher prep complete, not yet certified and cumulative pass rate of 82%.
    • 344 identified themselves as Certified and cumulative pass rate of 87%.
    • 118 identified themselves as No response and cumulative pass rate of 78%.
  • Of the 2,568 examinees who took the WEST-E Elementary subtest 2 (Eng. Lang. Arts/Socials Studies/Arts), the cumulative passing rate was 89%.
    • 228 identified themselves as Not yet accepted into teacher prep program and cumulative pass rate of 91%.
    • 1,336 identified themselves as Accepted, not finished student teaching and cumulative pass rate of 89%.
    • 95 identified themselves as Student teaching complete and cumulative pass rate of 84%.
    • 472 identified themselves as Teacher prep complete, not yet certified and cumulative pass rate of 86%.
    • 329 identified themselves as Certified and cumulative pass rate of 91%.
    • 108 identified themselves as No response and cumulative pass rate of 84%.
To see full ranges of tests and passing rates visit: WEST-E  By Ethnicity
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  pass rate percentages were calculated for the following ethnic subgroups:
    • Hispanic  67% in 2012 compared to 40% in 2011.
    • Black/African American  0% in 2012 compared to 33% in 2011.
    • White 51% in 2012 compared to 57% in 2011.
  • WEST-E Middle Level Math  pass rate percentages were calculated for the following ethnic subgroups:
    • Hispanic 78% in 2012 compared to 81% in 2011.
    • Black/African American 50% in 2012 compared to 44% in 2011.
    • White 73% in 2012 compared to 73% in 2011.
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 2010-11 information after data is collected in spring 2013.