Alternate Routes Policy
The state should allow a diversity of alternate route providers. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Alternate Route Providers: Washington repealed its previous alternate route licensing structure in May 2017, giving authority to the state's Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to establish new rules for alternate route programs. The state now offers four routes to alternate certification. Washington describes its new alternate routes as "partnerships between professional educator standards board-approved preparation programs, Washington school districts, and other partners as appropriate." Currently, all programs are run in partnership with an institution of higher education.
Session Law 1654 Alternate Route Provider Resources http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/future-educators/alternative-routes/provider-resources WSR 17-18-006 Permanent Rules - Professional Educator Standards Board http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/law/wsr/2017/18/17-18-006.htm Alternate Routes http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/future-educators/alternative-routes/route-descriptions
Further expand the diversity of alternate route providers.
Washington should continue to consider policies that encourage additional providers beyond what the state currently offers, including alternate route programs operated by school districts and non-profits separately from institutions of higher education. A robust diversity of providers has the potential to help all programs, both university- and non-university-based, to improve.
Washington had no comment on this goal.
Alternate routes should be structured to do more than just address shortages; they should provide an alternative pipeline for talented individuals to enter the profession. Many states have structured their alternate routes as a streamlined means to certify teachers in shortage subjects, grades, or geographic areas. A true alternate route creates a new pipeline of potential teachers by certifying those with valuable knowledge and skills who did not prepare to teach as undergraduates and are disinclined to fulfill the requirements of a new degree.
Some states claim that the limitations they place on the use of their alternate routes impose quality control. However, states control the criteria for who is admitted and who is licensed. With appropriate standards for admission and program accountability, quality can be safeguarded without casting alternate routes as routes of last resort or branding alternate route teachers "second-class citizens."