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Educator Research and Impact
The Educator Research and Impact team supports the intentional implementation of the department's Strategic Plan related to developing a strong, diverse pipeline of high-quality educators by conducting research, developing and disseminating workforce data metrics, preparing reports and delivering presentations for various Educator Talent strategic initiatives. They work collaboratively with other teams in the department and externally with districts, BOCES, educator preparation providers, the Colorado Department of Higher Education and partner research organizations to provide transparency to pipeline issues including recruitment, preparation, employment, performance and retention.
News and Updates
Are you grappling with educator shortages and turnover in your district? Do you wonder whether variables such as teacher preparation, working conditions, or school performance contribute to these challenges? Have you considered opportunities for partnerships and collaborations that could help?
CDE and the Region 12 Comprehensive Center have collaborated with K-12 districts, teacher preparation programs, and other stakeholders to create a wealth of informative data to help foster informed conversations about strengthening the state’s educator workforce pipeline and retention rates. We’re also currently hosting a 2022 Community of Practice where cross-agency stakeholder groups are meeting online to review data, discuss opportunities and challenges, and form plans for strengthening and diversifying our future educator pipeline and retaining effective educators in our schools.
Even if you’re not part of the Community of Practice, you can access the educator workforce data and interactive GIS map on your own to inform your own planning and decision-making. Head to the Region 12 Comprehensive Center site to view the Colorado Educator Workforce Pipeline GIS Map and ancillary materials and resources to help inform strategy selection, action planning, and implementation.
Educator Workforce Data, Tools and Research
A key initiative of the Colorado Department of Education's Strategic Plan is to develop a strong pipeline of high-quality educators due to strong evidence showing that teachers have a bigger impact on student performance than any other school-based factor and that the number one reason teachers leave is lack of support by a high-quality principal. The Educator Talent Division develops, deploys, and supports talent management and human capital development strategies for districts and schools to ensure that every school has effective educators to provide the opportunities and support students need to succeed. A critical aspect of the Division's work is monitoring and making transparent an array of indicators and how they intersect with and influence each other. Maintaining a highly-qualified, diverse educator workforce is complex and requires collecting, analyzing and questioning multiples sets of data.
The realization of a strong pipeline of high-quality and diverse educators is, in part, dependent upon a knowledgeable and skilled educator workforce emerging from Colorado's educator preparation programs. The Colorado Educator Preparation Programs report (EPP Report) provides information about the effectiveness of programs that train teachers, principals and special services roviders in our state. Detailed information about educator preparation program enrollment and completion as well as employment, employment context, performance and retention of new teachers in Colorado from 2015-2016 to the most recent academic year available, varying by metric, is available in the interactive EPP Report dashboard.
Each year, Colorado school districts must fill open teacher, principal, special services provider, and paraprofessional positions. Hiring qualified candidates is particularly challenging in certain content areas and roles and/or geographic locations, such as rural and remote rural districts. Annually, the Division surveys all school districts and BOCES to identify the number of positions filled by specific shortage mechanisms (including hiring long-term substitutes, retired educators, alternative licensure program candidates and emergency authorization holders), the number of positions that went unfulfilled and recruiting strategies used. An interactive dashboard maps the results of the Educator Shortage Survey for each school district in the state. Shortage data are provided separately for each teacher, special services provider (SSP), building leadership (principal/assistant principal) and paraprofessional positions. Data are also presented by teaching subject area, SSP type and rural designation.
A strong educator pipeline that can prepare, recruit, and retain high-quality and diverse educators is essential for improving student success. However, many Colorado districts currently experience teacher shortages and high turnover. To address this challenge, CDE and the Region 12 Comprehensive Center have launched an online “community of practice” initiative in 2022 for K-20 peer teams to engage in collaborative analysis, discussion, planning, and action to improve educator preparation, recruitment, hiring, diversity, and retention. Participants are using the new customized geographic information system (GIS) map that displays data and connections among district educator shortages, educator preparation program enrollment and completion, district retention and attrition rates, and other contextual economic data (e.g., median local income and employment rates). Working in small, cross-agency teams organized by region or context, participants are meeting online once a month from January to June for 90-minute, facilitated meetings (with additional inter-session supports) to:
- Analyze local educator workforce data and identify shared challenges and opportunities. Teams will have free access to a new online, interactive tool that provides relevant data at district, county, and statewide levels.
- Engage in collaborative peer conversation and learning from subject-matter experts.
- Design and implement region-specific action plans based on local needs and goals, focusing on policies and practices that are data-driven, equity-focused, and built for sustainability.
Interested in participating? Learn more and sign up below to be part of the next cohort, later this year.
Colorado teachers and principals must be evaluated based on statewide Quality Standards defining what it means to be an effective teacher or principal and measures of student learning. Released annually, the Educator Effectiveness (EE) Metrics reflect performance evaluation ratings for teachers and principals for at least the three most recent years for which CDE has data. There are four publicly reported metrics for teachers and principals: Overall Effectiveness Ratings, Quality Standard Ratings, Alignment and Gap Analysis.
The State Board of Education approved revised Teacher Quality Standards and Principal Quality Standards and the department implemented revisions to the State Model Evaluation System scoring processes between 2017 and 2019. Evaluation ratings on the revised evaluation systems must be reported separately from evaluation ratings on the former systems. As such, the Educator Effectiveness Metrics for evaluations conducted using the revised frameworks are displayed on EducatorView while the metrics for evaluations conducted using the former frameworks remain on SchoolView Data Center.
The assurances for educator evaluation systems are intended to ensure that school districts and BOCES across Colorado implement written evaluation systems that are aligned with Senate Bill 10-191 and the State Board Rules for the Evaluation of Licensed Personnel. he department has ollected assurances from all districts and employing BOCES indicating how licensed personnel in their district or BOCES are valuated since the 2013-2014 school year. Starting with the collection of assurances for the 020-21 school year, assurances include: (1) the educator evaluation model used to evaluate teachers, principals, and all nine categories of SSPs; (2) for those educators evaluated using the state model evaluation system, the weights assigned to the four professional practices quality standards defined in rule; (3) the implementation of the Advisory Personnel Performance Evaluation Council (also referred to as the 1338 Committee); and (4) the date by which all educators will be trained on the system that will be used for their evaluation.
Evaluation Reports of Educator Recruitment and Retention Efforts
In response to the teacher shortage in Colorado, the legislature has created a number of grants and programs designed to help recruit and retain teachers. To monitor the progress of legislative efforts to address the teacher shortage, Educator Talent releases annual progress evaluations for the following grants and programs:
- Retaining Teachers Grant Program
- Teacher of Record License and Program
- Quality Teacher Recruitment Program
- Teacher Residency Expansion Program
Additional Research and Tools
In collaboration with research partners at the University of Colorado Denver's School of Education and Human Development, a study was undertaken in spring 2020 to investigate challenges teachers faced with the sudden switch to remote learning during the Coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19). Remote learning presented many new challenges for K-12 teachers and presented some unique challenges for different content areas and grade levels. Read results two studies (published in 2020 and 2022) that found (1) areas expected to present challenges that did not, (2) challenges that surfaced for teachers regardless of the grade level or content they taught, and (3) challenges that were experienced differently by teachers within educational levels and/or content areas. Findings indicate that some challenges were experienced by teachers across grade levels, with common challenges including student engagement, adjusting curriculum to the remote format, and the loss of the personal connection of teaching. Differences were also found by grade level, with elementary teachers struggling more with varying attitudes of parents regarding remote learning and adjusting their curriculum to an online format, and secondary teachers more often reporting student engagement and a general feeling of being lost or unsupported in their teaching as challenges. These challenges provide important context around the experience of remote teaching, as well as what supports teachers need to continue remote teaching.
In collaboration with REL Central, educator retention, mobility and attrition were analyzed to better understand the extent to which characteristics of teachers and school and district leaders and characteristics of the schools in which they work are associated with their job mobility. The following reports describe findings based on data from the 2015-16 to 20180-19 school years:
- Educator Talent has partnered with TEACH Colorado to provide Colorado-specific information for prospective teachers to explore a teaching career, including step-by-step instructions for obtaining the preparation necessary to become a Colorado teacher.
- Educator Turnover Rates and Other Colorado Staff Data: Staff turnover data are important to consider because of the costs to fill positions and because of the loss overall in the workforce when educators leave the profession. Teacher, principal and special services provider turnover rates are produced for all districts annually, along with staff diversity and salary. Visit CDE's School District Staff Statistics webpage for more information.
- Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado (TLCC) Survey: The TLCC is a statewide, confidential survey intended to support school, district, and state improvement planning, as well as research and policy. An interactive report showing TLCC survey results for schools and districts across the state is available on the TLCC Survey webpage.
Contact Carolyn Haug, director of Educator Research and Impact, at firstname.lastname@example.org.