Frequently Asked Questions
How can I give input into the State Council's work?
The State Council welcomes your input! Please send comments, questions or other materials to email@example.com. Or feel free to speak directly to State Council members at an upcoming meeting during public comment. The State Council also is developing plans to gather feedback on its draft recommendations in early 2011. Check back for details.
Will districts be required to use a specific evaluation system?
The State Council strives to balance the diverse needs of Colorado's 178 school districts with the state requirements. Ultimately, districts will be required to ensure their educator evaluation system complies with the state's requirements. The State Board of Education will promulgate rules in September 2011 that determine what steps school districts are expected to take to comply with the statute. The Colorado Department of Education will provide examples of evaluation systems, including tools to measure student growth and evaluation rubrics that satisfy the rule requirements. Districts can then either review their existing system for compliance or use the state's model evaluation, rubrics and tools.
What can I do now to prepare for the new evaluation system?
Although the specific requirements for local evaluation systems have not yet been determined, districts can begin to lay the foundation now by assessing their current evaluation system and considering what changes may need to be made. Consider reactivating your district's evaluation committee, encouraging school leaders to conduct spot observations if they don't already or ensuring that every teacher has available information about the academic growth of his or her students. Please stay tuned for resources from the CDE to assist districts in preparing for implementation of the new system requirements.
We have just revised (or are about to begin revising) our evaluation system. Should we continue?
CDE encourages districts to identify any inconsistencies between their current evaluation systems or planned new systems against the minimum requirements for evaluation systems under S.B. 191 (e.g., the requirements that all teachers and principals be evaluated on an annual basis and that 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation be determined by the academic growth of the teacher's students). Districts can avoid investing in those areas that are likely to require revision in order to meet state law. Districts also may choose to postpone their revision processes to allow time to incorporate the Colorado State Board of Education's regulations as well as to take advantage of resources that will become available from CDE in 2011.
What resources will be available to support districts in implementation?
CDE will provide an online resource bank that identifies assessments, processes, tools and policies that a district may use to develop an evaluation system that meets the requirements of S.B. 191. In addition, CDE is developing guidance on federal and state funding that may be used to support districts in the development and implementation of educator evaluation systems. The State Council's recommendations must include a cost analysis for districts and may include models of strong evaluation systems that exemplify their recommendations.
Can principals designate other individuals to assist in evaluating teachers?
S.B. 191 allows principals to designate this responsibility to other individuals who have received education and training in evaluation skills that will enable them to make fair, professional and credible evaluations. This could include teacher leaders, assistant principals and other building administrators who have received appropriate training.
May districts seek waivers from S.B. 191?
S.B. 191 allows for waivers from specific provisions of the law related to teacher placement, provided that certain requirements are met. CDE will share more information about how districts may seek waivers. Please check back for details as they become available.
Will teachers in untested subjects and grades be evaluated under the new system?
Yes. S.B. 191 requires local school boards to adopt a performance evaluation system to evaluate the performance of all "licensed personnel." At least 50 percent of each teacher's evaluation must be determined by the academic growth of the teacher's students, and measures of student longitudinal growth may include the results of interim assessment or evidence of student work.
Won't this new system discourage teachers from teaching in tested subjects and grades?
All licensed personnel are subject to the new evaluation system under S.B. 191. The State Council is exploring how the new evaluation system will take into account the circumstances under which different educators teach - high school teachers, school counselors, content specialists and team teaching. The law is clear that all educators deserve to receive annual feedback on their performance.
How will specialists and related service providers (Early Childhood, Special Education, English Language Learners, counselors, etc.) be evaluated?
S.B. 191 requires that the evaluation system be used for all licensed personnel, which includes specialists and related service providers. The law also requires the quality standards to be clear and relevant to each individual's role and responsibilities with the goal of improving student academic growth. The State Council is responsible for making recommendations for all licensed personnel. The members are focusing first on developing recommendations for principals and classroom teachers. They then plan to examine and adapt, as appropriate, their recommendations for specialists and related service providers to ensure that licensed personnel are provided with meaningful evaluations.
How will changes to the Colorado Student Assessment Program impact the way we measure longitudinal growth?
Under the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids Act (CAP4K), the Colorado State Board of Education has adopted standards that identify the knowledge and skills that a student should acquire as the student progresses from preschool through elementary and secondary education. In December 2010, the Colorado State Board of Education will identify the required attributes of a statewide system of assessments that are aligned with the P-20 standards. CSAP, as we know it, will change within the next few years. Since longitudinal growth is a key component of our accountability system, every attempt will be made to create as much continuity as possible and to ensure that our longitudinal growth measures remain valid and reliable.
Does S.B. 191 require districts to use CSAP for 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation?
No. S.B. 191 requires that 50 percent of each teacher's evaluation be determined by the academic growth of the teacher's students. However, academic growth must be assessed with multiple measurement tools - or CSAP plus other measures - such as student work or interim assessment results. S.B. 191 requires the state to measure student longitudinal academic growth for schools and districts using: The percentage of students in the school or district who attain adequate longitudinal growth, which includes the percentage of students who attain catch-up growth and keep-up growth The percentage of students in the school or district who attain move-up growth The percentage of students in the school or district who attain statewide median growth The median student growth among students enrolled in the school or district.
How is the Council ensuring it adequately considers the variety of different school district cultures in its work? How will the Council's final recommendations fit all types of districts-including large, small, urban and rural districts?
The State Council is striving to develop recommendations that balance the diverse needs of Colorado's 178 school districts. For each area in which the Council is required to make recommendations, special consideration is being paid to the unique circumstances of school districts. The Council includes representatives from urban and rural school districts, and from various regions of Colorado. In addition, Council members visit communities throughout Colorado and welcome input during the public comment period at each of their meetings. After the Council has compiled its draft recommendations in February, these recommendations will be widely distributed for feedback. You can also email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can school districts expect to find in the resource bank?
S.B. 191 directs the state to develop a resource bank identify assessments, processes, tools and policies that a school district or BOCES may use to develop an evaluation system that addresses the requirements of the law. The Colorado Department of Education is currently seeking feedback on the types of resources that districts would like the resource bank to include and will be tailoring the resources to the requirements for local evaluation systems that are established by the State Board of Education's regulations. To provide input on the types of resources that would be useful, please contact Toby King, Senior Consultant for Educator Evaluation and Support, at email@example.com.
Will there be funding for school districts to implement the final State Board rules?
Currently, no additional local funding has been identified for purposes of implementation. The Department is working on a tool that will provide information about how current funding sources (e.g., federal formula grants, competitive grants, etc.) can be used to support educator effectiveness efforts, including revitalizing local evaluation systems.
How will the new evaluation system be piloted and rolled out?
The State Council will be making recommendations to the State Board of Education regarding the piloting and roll out of the state's educator evaluation system. Details on the recommended roll out will be available in mid February.
What is the timeline (i.e., effective dates) for districts to implement the provisions of S.B. 191?
S.B. 191 requires that particular provisions of local evaluation systems be implemented in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Refer to the S.B. 10-191 self-assessment tool, at www.cde.state.co.us/EducatorEffectiveness, to learn more about the elements of the law that go into effect in each year. Additional clarification regarding implementation requirements and timelines will be available after the Council makes its recommendations and the State Board promulgates regulations. Districts can begin to lay the foundation now by assessing their current evaluation system and considering what changes may need to be made. The Department will provide resources to assist districts in preparing for implementation of the new system requirements.