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Measures of Student Learning/Outcomes (MSLs/MSOs): Overview and Requirements


Overview of Measures of Student Learning/Outcomes (MSLs/MSOs)

Measures of student learning and outcomes (MSLs/MSOs) are designed to capture the results from an educator's practice. The information below is designed to provide clarity on the requirements, guidance, and considerations related to MSLs/MSOs.

Beginning in the 2023-24 school year thirty percent of a licensed educator’s (i.e., teachers, special services providers [SSPs], and principals/APs) evaluation will be determined by measures of student learning/outcomes (MSLs/MSOs). Therefore, the final effectiveness rating will consist of 70% professional practices and 30% MSLs/MSOs.

this pie chart shows the compilation of what constitutes a final effectiveness rating (FER)

School districts and BOCES are strongly encouraged to involve educators at every step of the process to determine the weights and selection of available measures to indicate student learning aligned to the specific educator’s role and student growth goals.

Starting with the 2023-24 school year, all licensed educator evaluations must include 30% measures of student learning/outcomes (MSLs/MSOs) within the final effectiveness rating. The requirements for MSLs/MSOs are listed below, as defined by updated state statute and State Board rule (1 CCR 301-87):
table highlighting the separate and shared requirements for MSLs/MSOs split by educator group


The measures included in an educator’s MSL/MSO provide representation of student learning and growth resulting from the instructional and service delivery practices utilized by the educator. The guidance offered below is aligned with the primary goal of Educator Effectiveness and educator evaluations to provide meaningful feedback that supports educators to continually grow as professionals.

District/BOCES Guide for Creating MSLs/MSOs

This guide is primarily for district/BOCES leaders, including members of the Advisory Personnel Performance Evaluation Council (also known as 1338 Council). This guide outlines a process, including detailed steps, for identifying and determining MSLs/MSOs that align with local values, priorities, and existing educator evaluation systems. Information and examples related to determining success criteria for selected measures are included within the guide.

  • CDE encourages districts/BOCES to provide an overview of decisions related to MSLs/MSOs in the required annual orientation for all staff regarding educator evaluations at the beginning of each school year. The EE Regional Specialist Team can assist in customizing to specific district/BOCES needs.
  • Districts/BOCES using the Colorado Performance Management System (COPMS) in RANDA can utilize the tools within the system for building MSL/MSO templates as well as to leverage opportunities for input from educators in the creation of their MSLs/MSOs. Additional questions regarding COPMS/RANDA can be directed to
  • CDE encourages districts/BOCES to maintain consistent timelines and evaluation processes from year-to-year when possible. The Educator Effectiveness Best Practices Timeline provides a breakdown of when/how to incorporate educator evaluation processes throughout the school year.
  • Additional information can be found on the Educator Effectiveness Frequently Asked Questions (EE FAQs) webpage.

Please Note: 

In preparation for the 2023-24 school year, the State Model Evaluation System (SMES) scoring system was revised. Highlights of the revised scoring include the following:

  • Total points for an educator’s final rating will shift to 1000 (previous total of 1080), with the total points available for the MSL/MSO portion adjusted to 300.
  • Revision to the levels available for the MSL/MSO score – reduced from four levels to three. Revised score levels: Less than Expected, Expected, and More than Expected.

Districts and BOCES are encouraged to explore the following considerations related to the effective use of MSL/MSOs in educator evaluations:
  • How do teachers, principals, and their evaluators know that students are learning?
    • For any given role (e.g., teacher, building leader, or district leader), consider what measures/data demonstrate that students are learning.
    • While DPF data is no longer available for inclusion in MSL/MSOs, it presents an opportunity to use other sources of data that may have previously been overlooked to provide information regarding students' learning.
    • How could existing/available data be leveraged for use in MSLs?
  • How do SSPs and evaluators know that students are progressing towards the desired outcomes? How do they know the students are demonstrating growth?
  • How can the school/district/BOCES align the creation of MSLs/MSOs with other areas of focus, e.g., UIP and annual priority areas/goals, among others?
  • Which stakeholders are already involved, and which stakeholders could be more involved, in decision-making related to educator evaluations, e.g., Advisory Personnel Performance Evaluation Council (1338 Council), admin team(s), and educators?
  • How are the local values of the district/BOCES reflected in the creation of the MSL/MSOs for educators?
  • What professional development opportunities would be beneficial to support educators and evaluators to effectively use and leverage MSLs/MSOs in the evaluation process?

Additional Support and Training Materials

The following are additional resources and supports to districts/BOCES related to MSL/MSOs:

Contact Your Educator Effectiveness Regional Specialist



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