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About the Colorado Department of Education (CDE)


All students in Colorado will become educated and productive citizens capable of succeeding in society, the workforce, and life.


The mission of the Colorado Department of Education is to ensure that all students are prepared for success in society, work, and life by providing excellent leadership, service, and support to schools, districts, and communities across the state.

Fact Sheets and FAQs

These short documents provide a high level understanding on many hot topics around Colorado’s education system. You may download the PDFs, save them to your computer or print them off and share with colleagues.

See also: A synopsis of commonly requested Colorado Education Facts and Figures (PDF)


The department has four overarching goals that are focused on supporting students through every step of their schooling. The goals are described in greater details in the performance plan.

  1. Start Strong
    Every student starts strong with a solid foundation in grades preschool-3.
  2. Read by Third Grade
    Every student reads at grade level by the end of third grade.
  3. Meet or Exceed Standards
    Every student meets or exceeds standards.
  4. Graduate Ready
    Every student graduates ready for college and careers.

Performance Plan

CDE goals for all Colorado students: start strong, read by third grade, meet or exceed standards, graduate ready


As a dynamic service agency, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) provides leadership, resources, support and accountability to the state’s 178 school districts, 1,836 schools, close to 56,000 teachers and over 2,800 administrators to help them build capacity to meet the needs of the state’s approximately 889,000 public school students.

CDE also provides services and support to boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES), early learning centers, state correctional schools, facility schools, the state’s libraries, adult/family literacy centers, and General Education Development (GED) testing centers reaching learners of all ages. CDE operates the Colorado Talking Book Library which provides supports for people who have vision, print, and reading disabilities.

In addition, CDE provides structural and administrative support to the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind and the Charter School Institute.

As the administrative arm of the State Board of Education, CDE is responsible for implementing state and federal education laws, disbursing state and federal funds, holding schools and districts accountable for performance, licensing all educators, and providing public transparency of performance and financial data.

CDE serves students, parents, and the general public by protecting the public trust through ensuring adherence to laws, strong stewardship of public funds, and accountability for student performance.

Our Brand: The CDE Shield

The shield symbol concept for CDE was developed with consideration of the department's vision, mission, goals and input received from staff. The most prominent of these ideas were next generation symbols and the idea of growth and achievement.

  • The star symbol was chosen because it signifies a high standard, achievement and aspiration. The star is a timeless symbol that inspires exploration and innovation.
  • The upward lines add a dynamic quality that communicates forward movement and supports the idea that education is boundless. Education doesn’t end with a diploma; it creates a path for lifelong learning.

Learn more about the new brand and where it all began

For additional information, email Jane Schold at

Quick Links


Contact Us

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

CDE Hours
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See also: Licensing Hours

Educator Licensing 

WCC Access