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Educator Preparation and Licensing Rule and Content Assessment Alignment

Educator Preparation and Licensing Rule and Content Assessment Alignment

Colorado is committed to attracting and supporting an educator workforce that is best in class. We value our educators and we want to maximize our educators’ skills, talents and knowledge in the classroom, which is why we are reviewing our licensure rules, statutes, and content assessments to ensure we meet this goal and our goal of preparing all students for success in a rapidly changing global workplace.

The Colorado Department of Education’s Office of Professional Services and Educator Licensing has embarked on a process to analyze, review, research, coordinate stakeholder engagement meetings, and solicit feedback and recommendations relating to the alignment of Colorado educator licensing rules and educator licensing content knowledge tests (currently the PLACE and PRAXIS II) with current initiatives, state statue, and best practices.   The licensing rules serve as standards for educators to gain licensure in Colorado and as a measure by which educator preparation programs across Colorado are reviewed and approved.

The goal of this project is to ensure that licensure rules and content assessments are fully aligned with educator effectiveness statutes and represent the latest knowledge from the field. The objectives are to:

  • Increase the effectiveness of new educators entering the profession by ensuring the highest quality content assessments are used;
  • Improve the success of Colorado’s educator effectiveness initiatives by aligning content assessments and rules with the Colorado Academic Standards and the educator quality standards;
  • Increase the efficiency and quality of the licensure process in Colorado by removing or amending conflicting, outdated or non-aligned statutes or rules; and
  • Maintain and improve stakeholder support for the educator preparation authorization and licensure process in Colorado by fully engaging all parties involved with or affected by licensing content assessments, rules and statutes.
  • Increase teacher quality for every single student in the state of Colorado in order to ensure their success throughout life.

Content Assessment Alignment- Project Update June 2016

The Colorado State Board of Education voted at the June board meeting to adopt the Praxis exam series of content assessments for all available endorsement areas. This is a very exciting step in moving towards an aligned system of exams that match what Colorado expects of their educators today. We are so thankful for everyone who has provided feedback and helped support this work along the way.

Please take a moment to review our Educator Preparation and Licensing Content Assessment page for detailed information regarding process of the State Board’s decision, information about the review committee, what has changed, the Praxis exams that were adopted for licensure with respective cut scores, and other important information.

Adopted Rules

The newly aligned Educator Preparation and Licensing Rules have been fully adopted and are now available on the Secretary of State's website.

New Rules of Regulation: Work continues around the process of implementing of the rules, as well as "grandfathering" the old rules. Effective March 30, 2016, new Rules of Regulation for Educator Preparation and Licensing have been adopted, affecting certain licensing endorsements in Colorado. Please view our Endorsement fact sheet for a brief summary of the major changes and schedule for implementation.

The process to review other content exams that are aligned with Colorado's current state initiatives, statutes and rules has begun. The Office of Educator Preparation and Licensing has heard from the field the need for valid, reliable, accessible, and flexible content exams. The review committee hopes to have a recommendation regarding the exams to present to the State Board of Education in June.

February 2016 Draft Rules

At the February 2016 Board of Education meeting the State Board approved the Educator Preparation and Licensure Rule updates. We are excited to have these rules move forward and we could not have done it without your incredible insights, support and work with our educators.

The rules must now go to the Secretary of State for a full review and to publish -- a process that can take up to 60 days. The rules will not be in effect until then. During the next 60 days, we will be working to create next steps and communicate those to everyone. Please watch for these updates coming from us beginning in March.

The February 2016 version of the draft rules were presented to the State Board of Education and adopted at its February meeting. .

  • Minimal changes in this draft include: Section 8.02: Elementary Education and section 8.01: Early Childhood Education were updated to reflect the requirement of all elementary and early childhood educators clearly focus on literacy at the early ages.
  • Rules regarding the graduate- level endorsements for Reading Teacher and Reading Specialist were updated to align with the inclusion of literacy specific standards that were included in the teacher Quality Standards outlined in section 5.01 and the Elementary Education endorsement, section 8.02(5)-8.02(13). 

January 2016 Draft Rules 

The January 2016 version of the draft rules were made available and were presented to the State Board of Education at the January board meeting.

Public Rule-Making Hearing- November 2015

A public rule-making hearing was held at the November state board meeting on Nov. 12, at 11 a.m. in the State Board Room at 201 E. Colfax Ave., in Denver. CDE encouraged stakeholders to share feedback (limited to three minutes or less) on the rules at the meeting. 

The third round of draft rules will be available and presented to the board in January.

Draft Rules Open for Public Written Comment- September 9, 2015- October 12, 2015

Thanks to the dedication of our stakeholders and the support we have received so far, the draft edits of the rules are now posted for public comment as part of the State Board of Education's official rule making hearing process. The comments we received through our stakeholder focus groups, survey, as well as our online Google form have been considered and reviewed by policy analysts and are now available for another review from stakeholders.

This process is open for all public comment on any given section of the rules. Please review the September 9th version of the Educator Preparation and Licensing Rules for written comment and public hearing. If you would like to submit comment, please send written feedback via email to Again, written comment is open from September 9, 2015 to October 12, 2015. Thank you again for helping us to ensure that Colorado is giving our educators and our students the best chance to succeed!


Draft Review and Feedback - July 16, 2015 - August 10, 2015 - Review is Closed and Comments are Being Reviewed

With your amazing stakeholder help, we have been able to make significant draft edits on the Educator Preparation and Licensing Rules Alignment project. I cannot thank you enough for your work. And, while we are close, this is the most important time for your engagement and feedback. We are currently reviewing the comments received in the July 16 - August 10th window. We will make that version available as soon as possible after the Board of Education meeting in September. 

You may review the July 16th version of the Educator Preparation and Licensing Alignment Rules draft document  by selecting the link.


Learn More at an Informational Session - July 23, 2015 or August 4, 2015 - Thank you to all who were able to attend!

Come to one of our two information sessions to learn more about the next steps. Please note that these are not for feedback on specific rules but rather an opportunity to learn about the process that we have engaged in over the last year and what our next steps are as we move forward. 

  • July 23, 2015 from 10 - 11 a.m. at 201 E. Colfax, Board of Education Room 
  • August 4, 2015 from 3 - 4:00 p.m  at 201 E. Colfax, Board of Education Room



As a reminder of next steps: 

  1. Draft Rule Stakeholder Feedback: Week of July 16, 2015 - August 10, 2015.  CDE will announce and post a draft version of the rules in PDF format for stakeholder feedback. Stakeholders can review the document and provide additional feedback to CDE using a Google Form. 
  2. CDE Informational Sessions: July 23, 10 - 11 a.m. at 201 E. Colfax, Board of Education Room and August 4, 2015 from 3 - 4:00 p.m also at 201 E. Colfax, Board of Education room. CDE is hosting these two information sessions about the rule and content assessment alignment work. 
  3. CDE Reviews and Incorporates Feedback: Week of August 10, 2015. CDE will review the stakeholder feedback and incorporate suggestions as needed. 
  4. Formal Rule Making Process with the Board of Education: September and ongoing. Once the stakeholder feedback is incorporated, CDE will engage in the formal rule making process as set forth by the Board of Education. This process will include opportunities for additional written feedback and formal rule making hearings. The timeline for the formal rule making process is tentatively scheduled for September through the remainder of 2015 and potentially into the spring of 2016. 


How Can I Stay Involved?

Watch for more information about our next steps by reviewing this website or through the CDE Scoop publication!

Review the Initial Fact Sheet

The fact sheet describes the aims, goals, and boundaries of this alignment. We are all very excited about kicking this project off as we know it is a much needed project that will bring our CDE process closer to the needs of each and every student across the state.

Review the January 2015 Update

We spent the fall gathering stakeholder feedback on the rules and the content assessments. Please review the update on our stakeholder engagement process. 

Review the Licensing Rule Stakeholder Engagement Report

The comments gathered through focus groups and the survey were compiled into the Licensing Rules Stakeholder Engagement Report.  The report organizes the feedback by each rule within the State Board of Education Rules for Educator Licensure.  Feedback on relevant content exams is also provided in the report.  The report can be accessed at:  

Register for Updates

CDE is analyzing the stakeholder feedback report and will use the report to begin drafting revisions to the rules.  CDE will engage stakeholders in reviewing the draft rules.  After vetting the draft rules with stakeholders, CDE will engage in the formal rule making process with the State Board of Education.  CDE anticipates that this rule revision and stakeholder process will occur over the course of 2015.  Once staff has analyzed the stakeholder feedback, CDE will share a schedule for rule revision prioritized based on the need and urgency articulated by stakeholders for changes.

To sign up for the listserv that receives regular updates on this project, please email Jennifer Simons at to be added to our regular listserv.

In addition to updated provided at this project website page, project updates will be share via The Scoop at