Case-by-Case Policy

Since 2005, Washington’s educator candidates have been required to pass a content knowledge assessment for the endorsement area they intend to teach to become certified. While demonstrating content knowledge is an important step in the preparation of educators, the assessment has raised serious concerns about the disproportionate testing outcomes experienced between candidates of color and white candidates.

Recognizing that diverse teachers play a crucial role in providing an equitable education system, this new exception process provides flexibility to better support candidates as they work to meet assessment requirements.

As such, the state of Washington allows case-by-case exceptions in certain circumstances of language and cultural barriers that may impact success in passing the NES and/or WEST-E assessments.  EWU has formed a Case-by-Case committee that reviews applications for exceptions using multiple forms of evidence while considering cultural and diverse factors.  If a candidate’s application for case-by-case is approved, this will substitute for a passing score on the NES or WEST-E.

EWU teacher candidates who believe their language or culture has impacted their success in passing the NES or WEST-E can request a case-by-case (CBC) exception. Candidates must attempt their endorsement test at least twice before applying for a CBC exception. Please note there is a 30-day waiting period between each test attempt.

Per PESB, for candidates pursuing either a modern language or bilingual endorsement, the CBC exception is not applicable to the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) exams.

How to Apply Start Application

Testing Accommodations

Testing anxiety and testing environment are not eligible for case-by-case review.

If you require testing accommodations, it is your responsibility to apply and access alternative testing arrangements with Pearson (the testing administrator).

Apply for Accommodations

Applying for Case-by-Case Exception

  1. Review the deadline chart.
  2. Complete an application that includes:

    1. All previous test reports with domain scores. This is the report that breaks the test into different content areas. This report should be multiple pages. Please note that if you received a score of zero on any domain objective or competency you will not be eligible for the case-by-case exception and must retake.
    2. Written statement of barriers that outline the language or cultural barriers you experience that inhibits your meeting the minimum score. Reminder, test anxiety and testing environment are not barriers that qualify for case-by-case exception.
    3. Evidence of content knowledge related to the individual domain score (e.g., coursework, assignments). You must include a written statement identifying how you have met the content standards of the specific domain areas on which your scores may not reflect content knowledge.
    4. Include grades in content course relevant to low scoring domains, overall GPA, and content area GPA.
    5. Optional references may be included. If used, it should be someone who can advocate on your behalf in relation to cultural and language barriers in testing. Members of the CBC Committee cannot be used as references.
  3. Submit completed application.

    Candidates will be notified via email of the committee’s decision no later than the 8th week of the quarter or the end of the quarter depending on submission date. If approved, teacher candidates will be recommended once all certification requirements are met. If not approved, the email from the CBC committee will include additional instructions for next steps

Frequently Asked Questions

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No, Case-by-Case exceptions are limited to those who complete teacher preparation at EWU.

Test only add-on endorsements are not eligible for case-by-case exceptions.

Generally, candidates earn their certificate through Washington State and then apply for certification in the state in which they want to teach. Many states have reciprocity once a certificate is awarded. It is important that you check the requirements for certification in the state you plan to teach.

EWU personnel who have access to the E-certification system and the case-by-case committee reviewing the application, School Districts in Washington State, and those collecting and maintaining data for mandatory reporting to the state.


Starting EDUC 427/520 QuarterTake Test 1st TimeRetake TestCBC Application DeadlineLast Chance CBC Deadline **
FallMay 31Sept. 30Oct. 14Nov. 11
WinterNov. 30Jan. 15Jan. 30Feb. 24
SpringMar. 1Apr. 7Apr. 21May 19
** If you have not passed a NES / WEST-E test or have a case-by-case approval, student teaching may be delayed.

Certification Testing Info Chart (pdf)