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State Model Evaluation System for Teachers

To support districts in their implementation of Senate Bill 10-191, CDE is creating a State Model Evaluation System for teachers. While not mandatory, this system provides an option that focuses on teachers' professional growth and aligns with State Board of Education rules.

The model system has been guided by recommendations of the State Council for Educator Effectivness (SCEE), pilot districts and other Colorado educators. 

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Teacher Quality Standards

Teachers will be rated on Quality Standards that measure professional practice and student learning over time. Teachers will be evaluated on six Quality Standards (view two-page Teacher Quality Standard overview):

  • Half of the evaluation will be based on the five Quality Standards that measure professional practice: content knowledge, establish classroom environment, facilitate learning, reflect on practice and demonstrate leadership. The Quality Standards can be measured using the state-developed rubric that identifies the practices necessary to achieve the standards.


Click image to download the Teacher Quality Standards overview

  • The sixth Quality Standard, student growth, will account for the other half of the evaluation. The standard will be based on multiple measures of student growth or student learning over time, not a single assessment. Teachers must have a team attribution student growth score and at least one individual attribution student growth score. If a teacher teaches a subject that takes the statewide summative exam, it must be used as one of the multiple measures. 

User's Guide (including the teacher rubric, updated Nov. 7, 2013)

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

Teacher Rubric

Download the Teacher 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 rubric. The CDE Educator Effectiveness team is pleased to share the final version of this rubric. Read a short, one-page overview on these changes or watch this short videoProvide feedback on the Rubric for Evaluating Colorado's Teachers

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

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 teacher rubric (version 8) 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 at 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 at 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. 

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

Note: if you are using a Macintosh running Excel 1997-2010, please contact Sed Keller for a separate tool that will work better on your system. 

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 teachers 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 Teacher-Final-Standards: This final evaluation system is designed for districts that have chosen to weight all standards equally
  • Excel Teacher-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 Teacher-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.

Collecting, reporting and analyzing multiple evaluations 

CDE has designed a simple tool to automate the aggregation of multiple evaluations. This tool will be released with future versions of the electronic system. Please feel free to contact the Educator Effectiveness team for more information about this system.

Resources for Gathering Observable Evidence

This tool can be used to gather information during observations (formal, informal and walk-throughs) in conjunction with the rubric for evaluating teachers.  This tool, by itself, is not to be considered an evaluation.

Download all the observable practices together. Or download each standard below.

*Note: there are no observable practices in Standard 4. Therefore, there is no Evidence Gathering Tool for Standard 4.

Coming in May 2014 - Colorado State Model Evaluation System Teacher Rubric Handbook

To support fair and consistent evaluations, CDE is developing tools to promote common interpretations of teacher quality. One tool that is currently being developed in partnership with Colorado Education Initiative and PhocuseD On Learning is a handbook that defines the standards, elements and professional practices of the Colorado State Model Evaluation System teacher rubric.  The handbook will help educators come to a common understanding of all components of the teacher rubric and better decipher the individual professional practices on the rubric. It will include detailed examples of what proficiency looks like at each element, coaching/self-reflection questions and links to additional resources.  This new resource will serve as a learning tool for both leaders and teachers as they strive to continually understand and improve in all aspects of their instruction.

If you’d like additional information, please contact Dawn Pare at or 303.866.5926.

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 teachers(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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