Senate Bill 10-191, passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2010, directs districts to adopt new evaluation systems that base 50 percent of an educator’s evaluation on multiple measures of student academic growth, and 50 percent on observations and other methods that measure the standards of professional practice. More robust evaluation systems will help districts recognize and reward excellent teachers; focus evaluations on teacher performance, professional growth and student academic growth; assist struggling teachers; and spread model lessons and exemplary teaching practices across the state. A strong and valid evaluation system ultimately will improve student learning by identifying excellent teachers, understanding what effective teaching looks like, and supporting teachers in delivering it. In implementing S.B. 10-191, CDE is creating a model evaluation system, which local districts can either adopt themselves or improve upon. Colorado is committed to taking the time to implement the model system with educator involvement, support districts with technical assistance as they test it and/or develop their own evaluations, and refine the model system before new local systems must be put in place statewide in 2013-14.
Colorado will use $3.5 million in Phase 3 Race to the Top funds over four years to provide technical assistance, including model rubrics/tools and statewide training, to prepare districts in the state to implement their educator systems.