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Planning for Educator Evaluations in the 2020-21 School Year

As a result of the disruption of in-person instruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Education Commissioner Katy Anthes will convene a stakeholder group to discuss immediate plans for how the state will move forward with statewide assessments, the 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 primary goal in Educator Effectiveness is to provide meaningful feedback that enables educators to continually grow as professionals. The typical structures and cycles that enable this feedback process were unfortunately disrupted due to COVID-19. To support districts/BOCES and charter schools plan for educator evaluation amid planning for a return to school with so many unknown, and continuously changing contributing factors, please review the following FAQs from the Educator Effectiveness Office.

NOTE: This page will be updated frequently, and additional information, guidance, and resources/supports will be added as they become available. Please check back regularly and contact your Regional Specialist or email educator_effectiveness@cde.state.co.us with any direct questions and/or requests for support.

 

2020-2021 Educator Effectiveness FAQs

 

Q. Are educator evaluations suspended for the 2020-21 school year? 

A. No. The Education Commissioner will convene a COVID-19 Policy Implications Stakeholder Group to review the impact of COVID-19 on state assessments, accountability and educator evaluations and make a recommendation for the 2020-21 school year. The Educator Effectiveness team will share any recommendations or updates related to the 2020-21 educator evaluation cycle as they become available. No new executive orders from the Governor focused on educator evaluations are anticipated.

 

Q. What modifications are available for educator evaluations for the 2020-21 school year?

A. To support districts and BOCES in planning for educator evaluation CDE will not be monitoring the measures of student learning/outcomes (MSL/MSO) portion of the Educator Effectiveness requirements for educator evaluations in the 2020-21 evaluation cycle. The many unknown and continuously changing variables due to the pandemic, coupled with the lack of summative assessments at both the state and local levels last school year, contributed to this decision. This direction acknowledges the critical need for districts/BOCES to focus on the instructional and well-being needs of their students during the coming school year. Educators and leaders will be able to focus on addressing instructional strategies for remote/online or blended learning environments. The Modifications to the 2020-21 Evaluation Cycle webpage offers more information.

 

Q. Are educator evaluations required for the 2020-21 school year?

A. Yes. Monitoring and reporting of educator’s final effectiveness rating will be based 100% on professional practices, and districts/BOCES should focus their efforts fully on the established educator professional practices. CDE will not be monitoring the MSL/MSO portion of the Educator Effectiveness requirements for educator evaluations in the 2020-21 evaluation cycle. Additional information regarding Educator Effectiveness requirements, guidance, and considerations for 2020-21 can be found on the Modifications to the 2020-21 Evaluation Cycle webpage.

 

Q. Is the Colorado Performance Management System (COPMS) in RANDA available for the 2020-21 school year?

A. Yes. The COPMS (RANDA) is up and running as expected. It is available for districts/BOCES using the COPMS (RANDA) to continue to work on and track professional practices. Additional questions regarding the COPMS can be directed to copms@cde.state.co.us

 

Q. Is there a process already in place to determine if educator evaluations will be impacted in any way for this upcoming school year?

Yes. Directed by the legislature, CDE will assemble a group of district/BOCES leaders with expertise in educator evaluation systems reflecting all of the state’s regions. Diversity of perspectives and representation will be part of the nomination and selection process, which will be announced soon. This COVID-19 Policy Implications Stakeholder Group will be tasked with reviewing the impact on the 2019-20 school year and discussing how the cancelation of state assessments have impact on the educator evaluation process for this year’s evaluation process. Ultimately, the group will make recommendations on how to proceed for the 2020-21 school year and how those systems can continue to accurately measure student achievement and growth.

 

Q. Recognizing that educators have not been trained at a deep level around online education, are there considerations for their proficiency ratings on the current rubric?

A: The State Model Evaluation Rubric for Teachers was designed to measure teacher quality through practices that can be implemented in any setting. As such, educators and evaluators should work together to consider how the shifts from face-to-face to online learning may change the “look” and “feel” of professional practices in the rubric as well as any additional supports that may be needed to implement them.

For example, how an educator uses pacing and transitions to foster a predictable learning environment (Standard 2, Element A) may take on different forms in virtual classrooms that are not managed by school bells and physical routines as much as by slide transitions and digital cues. Likewise, practices related to student collaboration and teamwork (Standard 3, Element E) may occur within virtual chatrooms monitored by the educator rather than through group work in a physical classroom setting. If questions arise about how a specific professional practice applies in a virtual setting, educators and evaluators should consider the element in which it resides and work together to determine how it can best be measured within the hybrid or online platform being used. 

 

Q. How does the observation process change in a hybrid or online instructional model?  

A. Observations of practice are an essential component of supporting educator growth as they provide the basis for feedback and support within both face-to-face and virtual teaching environments. Within hybrid or online instructional models, evaluators may not be able to physically observe every lesson in a classroom setting, yet they may continue to observe virtual lessons and conference with educators to provide coaching and feedback around their instruction. To determine the best model for conducting virtual observations, educators and evaluators are strongly encouraged to work closely with local Performance Evaluation Councils (formerly known as 1338 councils) to review local policies and consider how such designations as “formal” and “informal” as well as “announced” and “unannounced” will be applied within hybrid or online environments. Attention should also be given to how and when feedback will be delivered and what model will best suit local educators and evaluators in discussing observation evidence and “next steps” for educator growth and development.

 

Q.  What resources and supports are available to districts and BOCES?

A. Your Regional Educator Effectiveness Specialist is available to work with you and provide support as needed. In addition, the following resources are currently available:  Providing Effective Observations and Feedback in Multiple Learning Environments, an Addendum to the Resource Guide for Deepening the Understanding of Teacher's Professional Practices, and Planning for 2020-21 Framework and Toolkit for School and District Leaders.

 

 

NOTE: This page will be updated frequently, and additional information, guidance, and resources/supports will be added as they become available. Please check back regularly and contact your Regional Specialist or email educator_effectiveness@cde.state.co.us with any direct questions and/or requests for support.