SHB 1621

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.

C 121 L 19

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning basic skills assessments for approved teacher preparation programs.

Sponsors: House Committee on Education (originally sponsored by Representatives Ybarra, Steele, Santos, Harris, Bergquist, Ortiz-Self and Jinkins; by request of Professional Educator Standards Board).

House Committee on Education

Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education


With some exceptions, applicants must achieve the minimum score established by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) on the following assessments:

Since 2002 a basic skills assessment in reading, writing, and mathematics has generally been required: (1) for admission to a PESB-approved teacher preparation program; and (2) for out-of-state applicants for a residency teacher certificate. Since 2013 tests that are comparable in rigor to the basic skills assessment may be accepted by a teacher preparation program if an applicant meets or exceeds a minimum score set by the PESB. However, the PESB is required to set the minimum score at no lower than the average national scores for the SAT or ACT.

On an individual basis, teacher preparation programs may admit students who have not achieved the minimum basic skills assessment score, though passage of the assessment is required to receive a teacher certification. In addition, out-of-state applicants for a teacher certification or for a master's degree level teacher preparation program may demonstrate that they have the requisite basic skills based on completion of an assessment or alternative assessment approved by the PESB.


An applicant for an approved teacher preparation program must take the basic skills assessment, or an alternative or equivalent assessment as determined by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). However, achieving a minimum assessment score on the basic skills assessment is no longer required for admission. Instead, the applicant must report the assessment results to the PESB and the teacher preparation program, and the teacher preparation program may use the assessment result as a formative assessment of academic strengths and weakness in determining the applicant's readiness for the program.

The PESB is no longer required to set the acceptable score for admission to teacher preparation programs at no lower than the average national scores for the SAT or ACT.

Votes on Final Passage:








July 28, 2019