ESHB 1319

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.

As Passed House:

February 27, 2017

Title: An act relating to the frequency of evaluations for certain educators.

Brief Description: Concerning the frequency of evaluations for certain educators.

Sponsors: House Committee on Education (originally sponsored by Representatives McCaslin, Bergquist, Holy, Ryu, Stokesbary, Orwall, Volz, Haler, Stambaugh, Griffey, Chandler, Blake, Dent, McDonald, Dolan, Shea, Koster, Short, Pettigrew, Fey, Santos, Smith, Hargrove, Sells, Pollet, Muri and Young).

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Education: 1/30/17, 2/9/17 [DPS].

Floor Activity:

Passed House: 2/27/17, 96-0.

Brief Summary of Engrossed Substitute Bill

  • Reduces the frequency that classroom teachers with a Washington professional teacher certificate or a National Board Certificate, and principals with a Washington professional principal certificate, who previously received a comprehensive performance rating of level 3 or above must receive a comprehensive performance evaluation from every four years to every six years.


Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 19 members: Representatives Santos, Chair; Dolan, Vice Chair; Stonier, Vice Chair; Harris, Ranking Minority Member; Muri, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Caldier, Hargrove, Johnson, Kilduff, Lovick, McCaslin, Ortiz-Self, Senn, Slatter, Springer, Steele, Stokesbary and Volz.

Staff: Megan Wargacki (786-7194).


Teacher Certifications. Washington has two levels of certification for classroom teachers: residency and professional. To obtain a residency teacher certificate, applicants must complete an approved teacher preparation program and pass a basic skills test and a content knowledge tests. To obtain a professional teacher certificate, applicants must either: (1) have at least two years of experience and complete the ProTeach Portfolio, an external, uniform assessment adopted by Professional Educator Standards Board; or (2) have at least three years of experience and become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (National Board). Teachers have up to seven years to obtain the professional certificate.

Certification from the National Board is a voluntary advanced teaching credential that is valid in Washington for five years. Washington offers a bonus of approximately $5,000 to eligible kindergarten through grade 12 public school teachers who become certified by the National Board. Over 8,000 teachers in Washington have obtained this certificate.

Principal Certifications. Washington also has two levels of certification for principals (or building administrators). To obtain a residency principal certificate, applicants must complete an approved principal preparation program, have documented successful school-based experience in an instructional role with students, and hold, or have held, a valid residency or professional teacher certificate or educational staff associate certificate. To obtain a professional principal certificate, applicants must have documentation of three contracted school years of employment as a principal or assistant principal, complete an approved professional principal certificate program, and complete coursework in issues of abuse.

There is currently no national principal certificate.

Teacher and Principal Evaluation System. Legislation adopted in 2010 (i.e., Engrossed Second Substitute Bill (ESSB) 6696, enacted as Chapter 235, Laws of 2010) and in 2012 (i.e., ESSB 5895, enacted as Chapter 35, Laws of 2012) required development and implementation of new classroom teacher and principal level-four rating evaluation systems with eight specified minimum criteria. The four-levels are unsatisfactory, basic, proficient, or 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. The 2015-16 school year was the first year that this evaluation system was in use statewide.

All teachers and principals must be evaluated each year. 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 teacher or principal may be transferred from a focused evaluation to a comprehensive summative evaluation at the request of the teacher or principal, or at the direction of the teacher's or principal's evaluator.

Annual comprehensive summative evaluations must be given in the following cases:

A steering committee composed of teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, and parents created models for implementing the evaluation system criteria, professional development programs, and evaluator trainings.  The committee examined implementation issues and refined tools used for the evaluation system through the 2015-16 implementation phase.

Summary of Engrossed Substitute Bill:

Classroom teachers with a Washington professional teacher certificate or a National Board Certificate, and principals with a Washington professional principal's certificate, who previously received a comprehensive performance rating of level 3 or above must receive a comprehensive performance evaluation at least every six years.

The steering committee's work is extended through July 1, 2022.

The term "revised evaluation system" is replaced with the term "four-level rating evaluation system" throughout the statute.  References to "summative" are removed throughout the statute when describing the evaluations and ratings, and the following terms are used instead:  comprehensive performance evaluation; comprehensive performance rating; focused performance evaluation; and focused performance rating.

Language related to the "revised" evaluation implementation schedule, pilots, and related reports is removed.  Distinctions between classroom teachers and principals who have, and have not, been transitioned to the "revised" system are removed where these distinctions are no longer applicable.

Technical changes are made.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

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

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) The committee has heard a similar bill before.  Some people who have undergone this evaluation think it is the most effective evaluation out there.  The evaluation system is fully implemented, and teachers and principals are fully engaged.  It is more of a partnership, requiring the person evaluated to provide input. 

Once someone gets a three or a four on the evaluation, nothing really changes.  Competent teachers are able to learn and grow on their own. It seems appropriate for effective teachers to receive the comprehensive evaluation less frequently. The principal still has full authority to return a teacher to a comprehensive evaluation if the teacher is not being as successful as the principal prefers. When the Legislature kept the focused evaluation, it became an opportunity to drill down on one of the criteria.  The focused evaluation is time consuming, and the comprehensive evaluation is even more time consuming.  The comprehensive evaluation can take 40-50 hours. This bill will allow teachers and principals more time to focus on the job. 

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction supports reexamining the timeline of the evaluations.  There should be consistency in the timeline, to reduce confusion in the field. Eight years is too long between evaluations. 

(Opposed) None.

(Other) Some principals would like the bill to be changed to only six years for level three and four.  With the changes from last year, this would allow the comprehensive score to continue for six years and allow these educators to work on specific areas.

Persons Testifying: (In support) Representative McCaslin, prime sponsor; Sue Anderson, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; and Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association.

(Other) Jerry Bender, Association of Washington School Principals.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.