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Findings by State - Washington

Overview

Scope of Review in Washington
  2479 New teachers from the state's higher education institutions included in Review (2010)
  20 Institutions evaluated by NCTQ in the 2013 Review
-22 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-21 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
  9 Institutions with sufficient data for an overall program rating
-Collectively supplying 57% of the state's traditionally trained teachers
-10 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-10 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
45% Institutions sharing information for the Review
Big "take-aways" about teacher preparation in Washington:

  • Highly rated programs -- The undergraduate secondary program at Washington State University is on the Teacher Prep Review's Honor Roll, earning at least three out of four possible stars. Across the country, NCTQ identified 21 elementary programs (4 percent of those rated) and 84 secondary programs (14 percent) for the Honor Roll.

  • Selectivity in admissions -- The Review found that 35 percent of elementary and secondary programs in Washington restrict admissions to the top half of the college-going population, compared to 28 percent nationwide. Countries where students consistently outperform the U.S. typically set an even higher bar, with teacher prep programs recruiting candidates from the top third of the college-going population.

Some worry that increasing admissions requirements will have a negative effect on the diversity of teacher candidates. By increasing the rigor and therefore the prestige of teacher preparation the profession will attract more talent, including talented minorities. This is not an impossible dream: 83 programs across the country earn a Strong Design designation on this standard because they are both selective and diverse, including Gonzaga University (undergraduate elementary and secondary), Walla Walla University (undergraduate secondary), Saint Martin's University (graduate secondary) and University of Washington - Seattle (graduate special education).

  • Early reading instruction -- Just 30 percent of evaluated elementary programs in Washington are preparing teacher candidates in effective, scientifically based reading instruction, similar to the small minority of programs (29 percent) providing such training nationally.

  • Elementary math -- A mere 19 percent of evaluated elementary programs nationwide provide strong preparation to teach elementary mathematics, training that mirrors the practices of higher performing nations such as Singapore and South Korea. None of the evaluated elementary programs in Washington provide such training.

  • Student teaching -- Of the evaluated elementary and secondary programs in Washington, 70 percent entirely fail to ensure a high quality student teaching experience, in which candidates are assigned only to highly skilled teachers and receive frequent concrete feedback. 71 percent of programs across the country failed this standard.

  • Classroom management -- 35 percent of the evaluated Washington elementary and secondary programs earn a perfect four stars for providing feedback to teacher candidates on concrete classroom management strategies to improve classroom behavior, compared to 23 percent of evaluated programs nationwide.

  • Content preparation -- 14 percent of Washington's elementary programs earn three or four stars for providing teacher candidates adequate content preparation, compared to 11 percent of elementary programs nationwide. At the high school level, 25 percent of Washington secondary programs earn four stars for content preparation, compared to 35 percent nationwide. The major problem at the secondary level can be traced to general certifications in the sciences and social sciences for which coursework requirements do not ensure that high school teacher candidates know the content in all of the subjects they will be certified to teach.

  • Outcome data -- 60 percent of Washington's evaluated programs earn four stars for collecting data on their graduates, compared to 26 percent of evaluated programs in the national sample. In the absence of state efforts to connect student achievement data to teacher preparation programs, administer surveys of graduates and employers or require administration of teacher performance assessments (TPAs), programs that fare poorly on this standard have not taken the initiative to collect any such data on their own.

Washington Elementary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution

Washington Secondary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution


Programs that earned 3-star rating or more
Washington State University - Undergraduate Secondary
Consumer Alert: Programs earning no stars

Endorsers of the Review in Washington

DFER Washington
League of Education Voters
Partnership for Learning

Robert Neu, Superintendent, Federal Way Public Schools
Carla Santorno, Superintendent, Tacoma Public Schools

Washington's Teacher Prep Review was made possible by the following foundations and organizations

Carnegie Corporation of New York
Gleason Family Foundation
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Searle Freedom Trust
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
The Teaching Commission
Anonymous (2)

Institution List

Institutions with Teacher Training Rated
Antioch University Seattle Annual new teacher production (2010):  29
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Central Washington University Annual new teacher production (2010):  406
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
City University of Seattle Annual new teacher production (2010):  281
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Eastern Washington University Annual new teacher production (2010):  100
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Evergreen State College Annual new teacher production (2010):  32
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education Some standard scores available
Gonzaga University Annual new teacher production (2010):  71
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Heritage University Annual new teacher production (2010):  113
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Northwest University Annual new teacher production (2010):  44
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Pacific Lutheran University Annual new teacher production (2010):  111
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Saint Martin's University Annual new teacher production (2010):  61
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Seattle Pacific University Annual new teacher production (2010):  127
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Seattle University Annual new teacher production (2010):  77
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
University of Puget Sound Annual new teacher production (2010):  37
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
University of Washington - Bothell Annual new teacher production (2010):  62
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
University of Washington - Seattle Annual new teacher production (2010):  118
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education
University of Washington - Tacoma Annual new teacher production (2010):  57
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education
Walla Walla University Annual new teacher production (2010):  33
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Washington State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  325
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education
Western Washington University Annual new teacher production (2010):  272
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Undergraduate Special Education
Whitworth University Annual new teacher production (2010):  123
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available

Institutions with Teacher Training Not Rated

Lesley University

State Context

Good preparation does not guarantee that teachers will ultimately be effective, but there is much that states can do to ensure that new teachers are classroom ready. The tables below are drawn from NCTQ's 2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook (Full State Report here) and offer a summary of Washington's teacher preparation policies, identifying strong policies and those in need of improvement.

Each state has a set of laws, rules and regulations that govern how teachers are prepared for the classroom.  These policies establish guidelines for admission to teacher preparation programs, set standards for what teachers should know and be able to do in order to be licensed, and can be used to hold preparation programs accountable for the quality of teachers they produce.

Although states regulate most aspects of how teachers are prepared, where in each state this authority lies is not standard across the country. And in some states,authority for different components of teacher preparation rests with different entities.