New Colorado Law Further Defines Teacher, Principal Evaluations [short]

Published March 4, 2012

A new Colorado law builds on previous attempts to reform evaluations, setting six standards for measuring teacher effectiveness and making tenure contingent on continued “effective” ratings.

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia said the law “gives a stamp of approval to a range of guiding rules” from a 2010 law.

“So we’ve been working at this for a while now,” Garcia said.

Widespread Support
HB 1001, signed into law Feb. 15, further defines teacher and principal evaluations. It won 99 out of 100 votes in the state’s General Assembly.

The law establishes teachers must be rated “effective” for three consecutive years before earning tenure. Teachers who receive “ineffective” ratings two years in a row can lose tenure.

The state department of education is working with nearly 30 school districts that will pilot the evaluation system in 2012-2013.

‘System Needed to Be Revamped’
“In many school districts, 99 or 98 percent of teachers are being rated ‘effective,'” said Ben DeGrow, senior education policy analyst for the Independence Institute. “The system needed to be revamped.”

An appeals process for teachers threatened with loss of tenure is still on the drawing board.


Image by Steven Depolo.