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Measures of Student Learning

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S.B. 10-191 Rules define "Student Academic Growth" as:

  • The change in student achievement against Colorado Academic Standards for an individual student between two or more points in time, which shall be determined using multiple measures, one of which shall be the results of statewide summative assessments, and which may include other standards-based measures that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms of similar content areas and levels
  • May also include gains in progress towards postsecondary and workforce readiness
  • May include progress toward academic and functional goals included in an individualized education program and/or progress made towards student academic growth objectives

As CDE has worked on S.B. 10-191 implementation and development of the Colorado State Model Evaluation System, student academic growth is thought of as student learning outcomes using multiple measures to evaluate.

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S.B. 10-191 Rules include the following steps to take prior to evaluating teacher performance on their students' learning outcomes:

  • Categorize teachers based on the availability and technical quality of student assessments available
  • Choose or develop appropriate measures of student academic growth for each category
  • CDE develops technical guidance which address methods for ensuring that measures meet minimum standards of credibility, validity and reliability
  • Multiple measures of student academic growth determined. Measures shall include:
    • A measure of individually-attributed student academic growth
    • A measure of collectively-attributed student academic growth
    • When available, statewide summative assessment results
    • For subjects with statewide summative assessment results available in two consecutive grades, results from the Colorado Growth Model

The final steps are to scale and aggregate the multiple measures being used to determine student learning outcomes, determine an overall rating for the student growth Quality Standard and combine it with the overall rating for the professional practices Quality Standards to end up with a final effectiveness rating. CDE is developing guidelines and models to assist districts in this process.

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Additional Criteria for Measuring Student Learning 

S.B. 10-191 Rules state that school districts and BOCES shall seek to meet the following criteria:

  • Ensure that measures of student academic growth are valid, meaning that the measures must be aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards
  • Ensure that measures of student academic growth are reliable, meaning that the measures should be stable over time and in substance and that data from the measures will be sufficient to warrant reasonably consistent inferences
  • Include teachers in the discussion of which measures are most appropriate to the teacher's classroom in order to ensure that measures are comparable among teachers of similar content areas and grades
  • Include student academic growth scores from all subjects if a teacher teaches two or more subjects

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CDE Resources for Measures of Student Learning 

The Colorado Content Collaboratives are reviewing assessments in each content area and grade level to determine their degree of alignment to the Colorado Academic Standards and appropriateness for use in Colorado classrooms. They are identifying high quality assessments for all grades and content areas which are being loaded into the CDE Resource Bank as optional assessments for districts' use. The CDE Resource Bank launched in December 2012. While the bank will continue to be updated with more assessments, the initial launch will allow pilot districts to field test assessments for use in teacher evaluations. To stay informed, subscribe to the CDE Educator Effectiveness e-newsletter.

The Assessment Review Tool used by the Colorado Content Collaboratives has been released for district use. This tool will assist districts in reviewing their own assessments including rating them on their alignment to the Colorado Academic Standards, methods of scoring, degree to which the assessments are fair and unbiased, and the assessment’s ability to provide opportunities for learning. 

CDE is developing guidance, models and tools that will help districts select, use and aggregate multiple measures of student learning (growth). The CDE Educator Effectiveness team published measures of student learning guidance in August 2013 to give highlight possible approaches for districts/BOCES to consider when constructing their approach to select measures of student learning for use in educator evaluations. To stay informed on resources available, subscribe to the CDE Educator Effectiveness e-newsletter.

The CDE Educator Effectiveness team is offering a webinar series all districts and BOCES. For more information on these webinars, visit the training page.

For additional help, email us directly at or contact a member of the CDE Educator Effectiveness team.

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