Rep. Alex Ybarra’s bill addressing basic skills assessment for teacher preparation programs unanimously approved by House

Today, the state House of Representatives approved legislation that would make adjustments to the basic skills assessment requirements for acceptance into teacher preparatory programs.

House Bill 1621, sponsored by 13th District Rep. Alex Ybarra, would give more flexibility to universities and colleges when considering whether to admit applicants to their education programs.

Ybarrasays the changes could help attract more students into the teaching profession.

“My bill allows for a more holistic approach when determining if someone is capable of successfully completing an education program,” said Ybarra, R-Quincy. “Instead of being tied to a single test, colleges and universities can look at work experience, volunteerism, GPA, and other relevant skills. This would encourage more people to apply for these programs.”

The 13th District lawmaker’s bill would require applicants to a teacher preparatory program to take a basic skills assessment, as well as report their score to the Professional Educator Standards Board. Their score would help determine their eligibility for a program of study. However, a low result would not bar someone from being accepted.

“When most people remember their favorite teacher, they think of someone who helped them through a difficult period or got them to think differently. No written test can measure the ability to do that. With the changes outlined in my bill, universities and colleges could capitalize on an applicant’s overall experience, enthusiasm for the profession, knowledge and basic skills.

“Non-traditional applicants, such as working professionals looking to change jobs or even para-educators who want to take the next step in their career, have a different skill set than someone younger who is entering a course of study through a more traditional, campus-based program. Removing the dependence on any one single test can help the application process be less intimidating for many of those folks,” continued Ybarra.

House Bill 1621 now goes to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications