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Educator Effectiveness: Modifications to the 2020-21 Evaluation Cycle


To support districts and BOCES in planning educator evaluation for the 2020-21 school year, CDE will not be monitoring the measures of student learning/outcomes (MSL/MSO) portion of the Educator Effectiveness requirements for educator evaluations in the 2020-2021 evaluation cycle. This decision acknowledges the critical need for districts/BOCES to focus on the instructional and well-being needs of their students during the coming school year.

The decision for this one-year pause on monitoring the MSL/MSO portion of educator evaluation is based on the impact COVID 19 is having across the state and the lack of summative assessments at both the state and local levels last school year. Many districts/BOCES were unable to complete benchmark or summative assessments in the spring as well as the lack of statewide CMAS testing. The lack of assessment data from last year in conjunction with the need for educators and leaders to focus on addressing instructional strategies for remote/online or blended learning environments led to CDE’s decision to not monitor student measures for the 2020-21 school year.

In these extraordinary times, where educators must adapt their instructional practices to respond to changing settings and needs of their students and communities, opportunities for thoughtful feedback and meaningful conversations remain.  The Educator Effectiveness process will be maintained and districts/BOCES should focus their efforts fully on the established professional practices. Therefore, monitoring and reporting of educator’s final effectiveness rating will be based on 100% on professional practices. Educators can keep building and fortifying their skills for delivering effective instructional practices in remote/online learning environments, and the sole focus of educator effectiveness this year on professional practices will reinforce these efforts.

The Educator Effectiveness office will shift our focus to support educators and district/BOCES leaders to adapt their observation and feedback practices to respond to changing settings. Our team of Educator Effectiveness Regional Specialists are available to provide that support in the manner that is most helpful throughout the school year. Please contact your Educator Effectiveness Regional Specialist or email with any questions and/or requests for support.

Additional information below includes Educator Effectiveness requirements, guidance, and considerations for districts/BOCES for the 2020-2021 school year.

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Required: An entity is legally bound to do, as required by federal or state law, executive orders, state/local public health orders, state board rule, or in the case of waivers, expectations that the state board requires in exchange for waiving a state law or rule. Executive orders and public health orders could change over the next months as we learn more about COVID-19 and receive updated epidemiological data.

The following requirements associated with Educator Effectiveness remain in place for the 2020-21 school year.

  • Complete CDE Assurances for Educator Evaluations Systems for 2020-21. (due July 2020)
  • Complete educator observations, feedback and evidence collection in support of professional practices throughout the school year. Hold end of year conferences and arrive at final effectiveness ratings for each educator, with final professional practices ratings, at least two-weeks prior to the end of the school year.
  • Relief from reporting of MSL/O for the 2020-21 school year ONLY – no data will be collected by CDE related to MSL/O.
  • Data for educators’ final effectiveness ratings from the 2020-21 school year will be based on professional practices only. Ratings for all the educator quality standards as well as the final professional practice rating will be required to submit to CDE.
  • All requirements as outlined by S.B.10-191 and found in state evaluation statute and rule are still in place.
    • For example, the statutory requirements on how an educator’s final effectiveness rating impacts the earning or loss of non-probationary status is not adjusted with this relief from not reporting MSL/O.  

Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.

Aligned with the primary goal of Educator Effectiveness to provide meaningful feedback that enables educators to continually grow as professionals, the following guidance is offered for the 2020-21 school year.

  • Complete written documentation of how your district/BOCES closed educator evaluations for the 2019-20 school year.
    • This is for district/BOCES internal purposes only and is not reported to CDE.
    • Ensure alignment with district/BOCES policies, vision and values.
  • Provide an overview and orientation for all staff regarding educator evaluations for the 2020-21 school year. A template orientation slide deck is available and EE Regional Specialists can assist in customizing to specific district/BOCES parameters.
  • For districts/BOCES using the Colorado Performance Management System (COMPS) in RANDA, the system is up and running as expected.  Continue to use COMPS/RANDA for professional practices.  Additional questions regarding COPMS/RANDA can be directed to
  • Remain consistent (when possible) to established timelines and processes for conducting observations, providing feedback, and fostering open communication between observers/evaluators and educators. The following is an overview of the process recommended by CDE*:

*with removal of the step to determine MSL/O

Educator Effectiveness Cycle Image

Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.

Districts and BOCES are encouraged to explore the following considerations related to Educator Effectiveness for the 2020-21 school year.

  • How might your district/BOCES use this year to prototype and practice new approaches to MSL/O?  For districts/BOCES using the Colorado Performance Management SYstem (COPMS) in RANDA, the "sandbox" remains available for continued exploration with MSL/O.
  • Which stakeholders are involved in decision-making related to educator evaluations? (e.g., Advisory Personnel Performance Evaluation Council (1338 Committee), admin team(s), and educators)
  • How are you documenting any decisions related to the 2020-21 evaluation cycle?
  • How are you communicating decisions about educator evaluations to your educators and stakeholders?

COVID-19 Policy Implications Stakeholder Group

As a result of the disruption of in-person instruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Education Commissioner Katy Anthes will convene a COVID-19 Policy Implications Stakeholder Group to discuss immediate plans for how the state will move forward with statewide assessments, accountability system and educator evaluations during the 2020-21 school year. The stakeholder group will review the impact of the pandemic on the 2019-20 school year and discuss how the cancellation of state assessments impacted accountability and teacher evaluation systems to make a recommendation for the 2020-21 school year.

The Stakeholder Group will convene virtually in late August or early September 2020 and will meet regularly (bi-weekly or monthly) through December 2020 to complete its work. 


Additional support and information

The following are additional resources and supports to districts and BOCES: