Educator Effectiveness, Standards, and Assessment Updates from CDE

December 6, 2012

CDE Logo

Below you will find the latest updates from the Colorado Department of Education.


Educator Effectiveness

In 2013-14, all Colorado districts will be implementing educator evaluation systems that align to Senate Bill 10-191 and State Board Rules. The improvements to educator evaluations are intended to provide Colorado educators with more frequent feedback so they can continue to refine their instructional practice and increase student learning.

With the new evaluations, educators will be rated on quality standards that measure both professional practice (50% of the evaluation) and student academic growth (50% of the evaluation).  Student academic growth must be based on multiple measures of student growth, not a single assessment.

S.B. 10-191 Rules require that districts seek to ensure that assessments selected for educator evaluation purposes are fair, valid and reliable. To assist districts in identifying assessments to use as measures of student growth, CDE is developing tools, guidance and an assessment resource bank.


New Student Growth Tools and Resources:

  • Now Available: Assessment Review Tool
    This new tool assists districts in reviewing their assessments including rating them on their alignment to the Colorado Academic Standards, methods of scoring, degree to which the assessments are fair and unbiased, and the assessment’s ability to provide opportunities for learning.
  • Available December 3: CDE Resource Bank
    The CDE Resource Bank will provide optional high quality assessments aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards for all grades and content areas. The December launch will include assessments from Cohort 1 of the Content Collaboratives project: dance, drama & theatre arts, music, reading, writing & communicating, social studies and visual arts. In January, assessments from Cohort II will be added to the resource bank: comprehensive health, mathematics, physical education, science, world languages and career & technical education. While the bank will continue to be updated with more assessments and instructional supports, this initial launch will allow pilot districts to field test assessments for use in teacher evaluations this year.
  • Available in December:
    CDE will release draft guidance and examples to support districts in selecting and using multiple measures of student academic growth in educator evaluations. This draft guidance will be adapted based on field feedback and pilot tests; updated versions will be posted on the CDE Educator Effectiveness web page and announced in the CDE Educator Effectiveness e-newsletter.

More information on S.B. 10-101:

More information on Student Growth:

Assessment Review Tool:


Colorado Standards

During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, schools and districts are transitioning to the new Colorado Academic Standards, with full implementation occurring by the 2013-14 school year. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has developed and is providing tools for each phase of the standards implementation process. These tools are designed to help start the process of reviewing, revising, and aligning local standards, curriculum, and instructional practices to the new standards.

Because Colorado schools and districts are at various stages of the implementation process, CDE has designed a toolkit that provides support in all phases. The Implementation Toolkit can be found here:

District Sample Curriculum Project: The newest project that directly supports standards implementation is the District Sample Curriculum Project. This project originated as a response to increasing requests from Colorado educators for voluntary curriculum samples based on the new Colorado Academic Standards. From its beginnings, educators across the state have been the driving force behind this project and this will continue to be the case as the project proceeds.

More than 600 Colorado educators have come together at four workshops this fall to be trained in standards-based curriculum design and have produced curriculum samples (with curriculum defined as ‘an organized plan of instruction for engaging students in mastering the standards’) based on the new Colorado Academic Standards. Involving educators from diverse school districts has helped to create a variety of curriculum samples including unit overviews and course-at-a-glance curriculum blueprints that will incorporate standards, grade level expectations, 21st century skills, and evidence outcomes.

The samples produced by these educators will be released and available in late December. Beginning in January 2013, the CDE Standards and Instructional Support Office will be providing a series of regional workshops in standards-based curriculum design.  The workshops will be coordinated regionally. Visit the CDE Standards and Instruction web page for more information:

New Support Documents for Preschool Educators: The Colorado Preschool Program staff have developed support documents to link the new Colorado Academic Standards for preschool with the early childhood best practices that are already present in high quality early childhood care and education settings. These supplementary documents are designed to assist preschool educators with effective implementation of the preschool standards by sharing examples of activities for children and illustrating connections to the Colorado’s Discipline Concept Maps.

For more information:



New English Language Proficiency Assessments, ACCESS for ELLs: Colorado has become a full member of the WIDA Consortium. Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, the new screener to assist in the identification of students that qualify for English Language Acquisition programming will be the W-APT™ which stands for the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. The annual test that measures a student’s progress in acquiring academic English is ACCESS for ELLs®, which stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners.

ACCESS for ELLs® is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It is given annually to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English (this year, the testing dates are January 7, 2013 through Feb 8, 2013) . This information can be used to identify the types of language supports and services that should be provided to students to help them succeed in the classroom. It should also be used to inform a student’s growth in English Language Proficiency, to inform a student’s English language proficiency for re-designation, and to inform instruction based on students’ English language ability.

A new frequently asked question document has been developed to address many questions including:

  • What are the differences between CELApro and ACCESS for ELLs?
  • When is the ACCESS for ELLs testing window?
  • How long does it take to administer the ACCESS for ELLS?
  • Plus many more!

To access the FAQ document, visit:


Update on High School Guidelines

The state board of education is required by law to adopt a set of guidelines for high school graduation by May 2013.  School boards may use their own locally-developed graduation requirements so long as they “meet or exceed” any minimum standards or core competencies/skills adopted by the state board. Districts will have the 2013-14 school year for adoption. Districts will then implement their requirements with the ninth-grade class of 2014-15 for their graduation in 2018-19.

Educators and community members continue to draft and refine guidelines for high school graduation. The Graduation Guidelines Development Council is expanding its membership to better represent high school and state demographic interests and will be renamed the Graduation Guidelines Advisory Council.  Once full membership is finalized, member names will be posted online.

Graduation diploma principles have been drafted. Ways to consider students accomplished in math, reading, writing, science and other content are being explored. Drafts of these designs are being shared extensively at educator, business and higher education meetings over the course of fall/early winter. A webinar about this progress will be shared soon. Presentations will be made to the state board of education periodically with adoption scheduled by May 2013.

For more information, visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.