It has been ten years since the implementation of Senate Bill 191, Colorado’s Teacher Evaluation System. Based on input from teachers across the state, it is clear adjustments need to be made to this legislation/policy. In the summer and fall of 2019, teachers, advocates, and state leaders convened to develop/brainstorm/suggest changes to teacher evaluation. Importantly, we learned that teachers: 

Currently, there are three pieces of legislation related to teacher evaluation making their way through the Colorado Legislature. Two of these bills attempt to completely gut or severely undermine teacher evaluation by removing student growth data and allowing for any potential disruption to learning (no matter the size or scope) to pause or remove essential evaluation elements.

The third bill responds to teachers’ feedback on evaluation and updates this process accordingly. Specifically, SB22-070: 

All these recommendations adhere to evidence-based best practices and are modeled after successful teacher evaluation systems across the country. The bill also directly responds to the year-long teacher feedback work in 2019.   

The changes proposed in SB22-070 will not make the teacher evaluation system perfect. But they do address the disconnect between best practices for performance management systems and implementation of performance management systems. SB22-070 reflects the action research completed by teachers who envision a system that will work to improve their practice and ensure all of Colorado’s students reach their potential.

Mark Sass is a high school teacher at Legacy High School, and the Executive Director of Teach Plus Colorado.