Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Education Committee

HB 1600

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning elementary math specialists.

Sponsors: Representatives Probst, Anderson, Maxwell and Roberts.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • The Professional Educator Standards Board is directed to develop and adopt standards for a specialty endorsement for elementary mathematics.

  • School districts are encouraged to utilize an itinerant teacher model for deploying elementary mathematics specialists.

Hearing Date: 2/11/11

Staff: Cece Clynch (786-7195).


Professional Educator Standards Board.

The purpose of the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is to establish policies and requirements for the preparation and certification of education professionals, ensuring that they:

The PESB also serves as an advisory body to the Superintendent of Public Instruction on issues related to educator recruitment, hiring, mentoring and support, professional growth, retention, evaluation, and revocation and suspension of licensure.

Teaching Endorsements.

A teacher must have an endorsement to his or her teaching certificate to teach a particular subject. At the secondary level, endorsements are based on specific academic subjects (e.g., mathematics, science, English, etc.). A teacher with an elementary education endorsement can teach any academic subject to students in grades kindergarten through eighth.

The PESB has created a procedure for adding specialty endorsements that are not required for the teacher to teach that subject. To date, there are five specialty endorsements: (1) Deaf education; (2) Environmental and sustainability education; (3) Teacher of the visually impaired; (4) Orientation and mobility teacher; and (5) Gifted education.

A number of states, including Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Arizona, have created some form of endorsement in teaching elementary mathematics. In some cases the state requires this endorsement for teaching certain grade levels; in other cases the endorsement is an optional supplement.

Summary of Bill:

The PESB is directed to develop standards and adopt a specialty endorsement for Elementary Mathematics Specialist (Specialist). A Specialist is a certificated teacher who has demonstrated the following knowledge and skills:

School districts are encouraged to use Specialists for direct instruction of students using an itinerant teacher model where the Specialist moves from classroom to classroom within the school

School districts may work with local colleges and universities, educator preparation programs, and educational service districts to develop and offer training and professional development opportunities in the knowledge and skills necessary for a teacher to be considered a Specialist.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.