Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Education Committee

HB 1119

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 educator evaluations and professional development.

Sponsors: Representatives McCaslin, Shea, Bergquist and Young; by request of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Modifies the Beginning Educator Support Team Program.

  • Reduces the frequency of certain evaluations for teachers and principals.

Hearing Date: 1/24/19

Staff: Megan Wargacki (786-7194).


Beginning Educator Support Team Program.

The Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) Program provides professional development and mentor support for beginning teachers, candidates in alternative route teacher certification programs, and teachers on probation. The BEST Program must include specified components, for example: mentorship, professional development, and a program evaluation that measures increased knowledge, skills, and positive impact on student learning for program participants.

Grant funding for the BEST Program is administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The grant funds are provided on a competitive basis to individual school districts or consortia of districts. In allocating funds, the OSPI must give priority to districts with challenged schools in need of improvement and districts with a large influx of beginning classroom teachers.

Evaluation of Teachers and Principals.

Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, most classroom teachers and principals are evaluated using a "revised" four level rating evaluation system with eight specified minimum criteria. The four-levels are unsatisfactory, basic, proficient, and distinguished. Teachers and principals receive a performance rating for each criteria and an overall rating for the entire evaluation, called the comprehensive summative evaluation performance rating.

All teachers and principals must be evaluated each year. Except in certain cases, every four years the evaluation must be comprehensive and use all eight criteria. In the intervening years, evaluations are focused, zeroing in on a specific evaluation criterion for professional development.

A steering committee composed of teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, and parents examined implementation issues and refined tools used for the evaluation system through the 2015-16 implementation phase.

Summary of Bill:

Beginning Educator Support Team Program.

The purpose of the BEST Program is modified to include providing beginning educator induction. The BEST Program is expanded to beginning educators. Changes are made to mentor eligibility requirements, for example, a mentor must be selected using mentor standards developed by the OSPI and must be participating in ongoing mentor skills professional development.

Tribal compact schools are eligible for grant funds. When allocating funds for the program, the OSPI must also prioritize school districts that demonstrate an understanding of the research-based standards for beginning educator induction developed by the OSPI. The description of another set of priority schools and districts is modified to use terminology that is consistent with federal law.

Additional components are added to the BEST program, for example: an appropriate assignment, written feedback, support in understanding and participating in the evaluation processes, and adherence to research-based standards. The required program evaluation is no longer required to be done using a standard tool, instead it must identify program strengths and gaps using the induction standards, retention of beginning educators, and positive impact on student learning.

Evaluation of Teachers and Principals.

Except for those who require it annually, the comprehensive performance evaluation frequency for classroom teachers and principals is reduced from every four years to every five years.

The steering committee must include professional learning that addresses issues of equity thought the lens of the selected, instrumental, and leadership frameworks when examining implementation and refining tools. The steering committee's work is extended indefinitely.

Nonsubstantive and technical changes are made, for example: the term "revised evaluation system" is replaced with the term "four-level rating evaluation system;" and language related to the "revised" evaluation implementation schedule, pilots, and related reports is removed.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 14, 2019.

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