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State Model Evaluation System for Principals/Assistant Principals

Principal Quality Standards 

To support districts in their implementation of Senate Bill 10-191, CDE is creating a State Model Evaluation System for principals that  aligns with State Board of Education rules. Under the model system, principals will be evaluated on seven Quality Standards (download the Principal Quality Standards overview) :

  • Half of the evaluation will be based on the six professional practice Quality Standards: strategic leadership, instructional leadership, school cultural and equity leadership, human resource leadership, managerial leadership and external development leadership. The Quality Standards can be measured using the state-developed rubric that identifies the practices necessary to achieve the standards.
  • The other half of a principal’s evaluation will be based on the seventh Quality Standard which measures the academic growth of the students in their school. Principals must have a team attribution student growth score and student growth scores that are aligned to their teachers. The score on the School Performance Framework would be applicable. 

Click here to see feedback and survey data from the 2011-12 Principal System Pilot.

Important note to all user's of the Colorado State Model Evaluation System (Nov. 7, 2013)

A scale change within the model evaluation system has been made that could affect a small number of final ratings. Thanks to the many districts that are using the model system, and their willingness to partner with CDE, the Educator Effectiveness team has been informed that the scale used to determine an overall professional practices rating for both teachers and principals resulted in some unexpected overall professional practice ratings for a few educators (more detail on the issue and the scales can be found here).

A solution to the concern raised is available and there are several options to fix the scales that should be relatively easy to implement.  The Educator Effectiveness team stands ready to help you implement the solutions listed below. It is important to note the scale issue identified only affects the final professional practice rating and only with certain scoring combinations so many of you have not encountered this yet—nor would have (since it affects only a small portion of point combinations).  This change does not affect the content or process of using the rubric, the self-assessment, the mid-year conversations, the ongoing evaluation process, or the selection and implementation of measures of student learning.  The adjustments made to the scales are intended to make the system more fair and intuitive overall.

The Educator Effectiveness team has made all necessary changes to the documents and files and they are all listed on the website below. You will only need to take action if you are using the Excel files we provided, are calculating final scores by hand, or are using your own vendor to calculate the final ratings. If you are using BloomBoard, we have already solved this issue with them.  Information on approaches to update your Excel files are listed below:

  1. Collect all the Excel files from your staff into one folder (on your computer) and run an Excel “fixer” program on them. CDE has created the “fixer” file for  the principal rubric (version 9) and instructions which can be downloaded by clicking here. Please note that files cannot be "fixed" twice.  If you have questions, please contact Toby King at or 303-866-6964  or  Bob Snead at or 303-866-5973. 
  2. Collect all the Excel files from your staff into one folder and call us, we’ll run the “fixer” program for you. Toby King or 303-866-6964
  3. If you have not begun, or only have a few, you can download a “fixed” Excel version and start again.  The links to the new files are below.
  4. Continue to use the files that you have and apply the scales below to determine the final rating.

If you are calculating the final rating “by hand” use the new scales published in the user's guide

If you are using your own vendor or technology solution (not Excel or BloomBoard) to run the state model system, please call us, we will support your local programmer to understand the changes so that they may be applied across your system. Call Toby King or 303-866-6964. 

For all questions and concerns, Toby King will provide direct support to solve any issues. He will put you in touch with staff quickly that can run the “fixer,” talk to your vendor, or talk you through any questions you may have. He can be reached at or 303-866-6964. 

User's Guide (updated Nov. 7, 2013)

Download the User's Guide: The 2013-14 model system user's guide contains all the resources for the evaluation process (including the teacher and principal rubrics). On Aug. 1, the user’s guide for the Colorado State Model Evaluation System was released along with Excel versions of the teacher and principal rubrics. Since the release, CDE has been made aware of several improvements that needed to be made to both the user’s guide and Excel versions of the rubrics. As a result, all districts are being asked to download the most current version of the user’s guide. A summary of the items that changed are also included below.

  •  Some edits changed the narrative and the rubric itself. These edits don’t affect any training you had using the Aug. 1 user’s guide version.
  • New scales/cut points are described and used in scoring.

Principal/Assistant Principal Rubric

Download the Principal/Assistant Principal Rubric 
*The Colorado State Model Evaluation System for teachers and principals was pilot tested during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. The goal of the two-year pilot process was to gather critical feedback from educators and users of the system to improve the rubrics before statewide roll out. Twenty-seven CDE pilot districts as well as other districts piloted the system and have provided significant input into this new rubric. Read a short, one-page overview on these changes or watch this short video. 

Provide feedback on the Rubric for Evaluating Colorado's Principals/Assistant Principals

Excel Version of the Colorado State Model Evaluation Principal System (updated on Nov. 7, 2013)

The Excel Colorado Model Evaluation System has been designed to be an easy and intuitive system to help Colorado districts implement the Model Evaluation System. The tool necessitates that the user has access to Microsoft excel 2007 or higher.  All evaluation tools have been designed to work on both Apple and PC systems.  CDE will provide support to all districts who choose to use these tools to implement the Model Evaluation System. 

On Aug. 1, the Excel versions of the teacher and principal rubrics were released. Since the release, CDE has been made aware of several improvements that needed to be made. As a result, all districts are being asked to download the most current version of the Excel rubrics using the links below. A summary of the items that changed are also included below. 

  • Versions dated prior to 8-26-13 can’t record the teacher’s Educator Identifier number (EDID) which significantly affects functionality when tools are released that will aggregate and report at the district and school level.  It will also eliminate the ability to run the “compare” tool (soon to be released) that will let a principal compare the self-evaluation to a mid-year or final evaluation to aid with coaching conversations. The “compare” tool will also allow an administrator to compare a single teacher to the overall scores of the school or district as well as generate a single file that a district could use to transition to online performance management systems or use for reporting purposes.  
  • Versions dated prior to 9-3-13 have an incorrect professional practice in Standard 1, Element E.
  • Versions dated prior to 11-6-13 have earlier scoring scales.

Resources Available to ALL users:

  • Demo Excel system:  This system is designed for demonstration and decision making purposes.  Anyone can use and access this system.  This system cannot be used for final evaluation purposes because weighting decisions must be made by the district in order to get accurate final ratings.  Districts must download and distribute the appropriate “Final” evaluation system to their evaluators with the appropriate weighting that the district selected.  The demo should NOT be used for final evaluation purposes.
  • Self Evaluation Excel Rubric:  This rubric is designed so that principals can perform a self-evaluation and possibly share this self-evaluation with their evaluator.  This rubric only contains the 50% professional practices and does not contain the 50% Measures of Student Learning. 
  • Measures of Student Learning Excel Tool:  This tool is a stand-alone tool used to help define, weight and score measures of student learning for use in educator evaluations.  This tool, by itself, is not designed for final evaluation purposes.

Available to Administration and Evaluators:  (Only district administration should download these files and then disseminate them to their evaluators)

Final Evaluation Systems:

  • Excel Principal-Final-Standards: This final evaluation system is designed for districts that have chosen to weight all standards equally
  • Excel Principal-Final-Element: This final evaluation system is designed for districts that have chosen to weight standards differentially so that each element has equal influence on the overall score.
  • Excel Principal-Final-Custom: This final evaluation system is designed for districts who have chosen to weight each standard using district selected custom weights.  It is important that one person download this custom template, save it and then disseminate it out to the respective evaluators to make sure that all evaluators are using the same custom district template.

Once a district is ready for their evaluators to begin the evaluation process, they should download the appropriate final evaluation system.  Each district should designate at least one person to be in charge of managing this process and ensuring the district determined weights of each of the standards are properly locked down for all evaluators.  For more information or to report errors please contact us

We will also be releasing a tool for districts to use to collect, aggregate and report their teacher and principal evaluations in the coming months. This tool will enable districts to migrate their old evaluations into future online systems such as Randa.

Measuring the 50% Student Learning 

The "Measures of Student Learning Guidance" is intended to give districts and BOCES a starting point for determining the 50 percent measures of student learning portion of teacher and principal evaluations. CDE is using pilot experience and overall feedback to improve this guidance over time. To access, visit the Measures of Student Learning Guidance website.

Determining a Final Educator Effectiveness Rating

S.B. 10-191 requires that 50 percent of an educator’s evaluation be based on professional practices and 50 percent be based on multiple measures of student learning. Educators will earn a professional practice score based on the rubric and a measures of student learning score based on multiple measures. The professional practices score and the measures of student learning scores are combined to determine an overall effectiveness rating of Ineffective, Partially Effective, Effective or Highly Effective.There are several approaches and methods for combining these measures to arrive at a final effectiveness rating for educators. Click here for information on the approach and method used in the model system for principals. (Since the Aug 1 release of this tool, CDE has been made aware of scale changes that needed to be made to this tool. As a result, all districts are being asked to download the most current version of this guidance)


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