$1 million educator effectiveness program launched

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The $1 million Colorado Educator Effectiveness Project was launched today.

The Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Legacy Foundation and The New Teacher Project have partnered on the project, which is designed to make a significant impact on improving students’ academic growth, by increasing the number of effective teachers and principals.

The project also seeks to more equitably distribute effective educators in public schools throughout the state.

“This project will ensure that the more than 830,000 public school students in Colorado are ready for success in work and college when they complete high school,” said Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones. “To do that, we must provide an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective principal in every school.”

During the next two years, the Colorado Department of Education will:

• Identify and expand educator preparation programs that successfully prepare effective teachers and principals, and eliminate those that don’t.

• Determine state policies that support the preparation, recruitment, retention, development and promotion of effective educators – including recommendations to the Colorado State Board of Education and General Assembly for implementing those policies.

• Adopt measurable state goals to increase the number of effective educators statewide as well as the effectiveness of new educators; lower the number of ineffective educators; and address the equitable distribution of effective educators statewide.

• Create a temporary special-advisor role within CDE to be staffed by a classroom teacher-on-loan who will advise the commissioner of education as policies are developed. The teacher-on-loan also will solicit the input of educators across the state.

By the end of the two-year grant, the Colorado Legacy Foundation will:

• Share online resources to identify and disseminate best practices in identifying, recruiting and retaining effective educators.

• Implement plans that will dramatically improve how Colorado recruits, prepares, retains and supports effective teachers and school principals.

• Publish at least one best practices guide for schools and districts covering such topics as what works in performance-based compensation systems, or best practices for preparing those who want to teach students and lead schools.

• Recognize the accomplishments of Colorado’s most effective educators and disseminate their instructional practices.

An $800,000 two-year Rose Community Foundation grant will fund the project, along with additional $200,000 that The New Teacher Project raised  from other private donors.

The commissioner also said the Colorado Educator Effectiveness Project will be directly complemented by the state’s application for round-two funds under the federal Race to the Top grant program; however, Colorado is committed to ensuring there is an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader at every school – with or without the Race to the Top funds.

For more information, visit the Colorado Dept. of Education website.