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News Release - State board approves READ Act assessment option for teachers

April 8, 2020                  

State board approves READ Act assessment option for teachers 

Commissioner Anthes provides update on response to COVID-19 

DENVER - In today’s monthly meeting, the Colorado State Board of Education approved a test that teachers may take to demonstrate their understanding of evidence-based reading instruction, a requirement of the changes to the READ Act approved by the legislature last year. 

Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) Praxis Teaching Reading Elementary was selected after a year-long stakeholder review process. 

In 2019, the Colorado legislature passed Senate Bill 19-199 that updated the READ Act, requiring teachers to demonstrate knowledge on evidence-based practices for teaching reading. Teachers have a number of options for meeting this requirement, such as completion of a course in evidence-based reading, holding an endorsement as a reading teacher or reading specialist, or participating in CDE-provided training. 

Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, each district that receives per-pupil funds or early literacy grants must ensure that all K-3 teachers have completed evidence-based training to teach reading.

The board’s approval of the ETS Praxis Teaching Reading Elementary assessment establishes that teachers who score at least 159 on the assessment will have met the evidence-based teacher training requirement established in SB-19 199.

Update on CDE’s work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Commissioner Katy Anthes provided an update on CDE’s role and activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. CDE continues to work with Gov. Jared Polis’ Office, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and other state agencies on the coordination of emergency operations that affect schools. 

In addition to extending his stay-at-home order until Monday, April 26, Gov. Polis suspended in-person learning in schools until Thursday, April 30. School districts may decide to extend their remote learning period beyond that if necessary. Districts also have flexibility on graduation requirements and commencement for the Class of 2020. CDE is supporting districts through these decisions and is regularly updating its website with new policy guidance, including frequently asked questions around educator evaluations, school finance and additional e-learning guidance.