Great teaching is one of the most important factors influencing student achievement and success. We must ensure that every student is learning from the best educators to be college and career ready. In the last decade, Colorado and other states across the country have increasingly struggled to recruit and retain teachers. Inequitable distribution of quality educators represents one of many systemic inequities that negatively impact students of color.
Senate Bill 191, The Great Teachers and Leaders Act, which passed in 2010, changed the way educators are evaluated and supported in Colorado. The legislation was based on the idea that every child in every community deserves excellent classroom teachers and school leaders who are supported in their professional growth. Specifically, the bill:
- Provided context for a system to give meaningful and credible feedback to educators aimed at continuously improving their performance and student results;
- Required that every educator receive an annual evaluation, of which 50% is based on student achievement outcomes and 50% is based on professional practice, determined through observation;
- Made non-probationary status, often referred to as tenure, a meaningful step in an educator’s career tied to professional expertise and performance (earned after three consecutive years of demonstrated effectiveness) rather than length of service; and
- Required mutual consent in the hiring of teachers (eliminated forced placement).
The Children’s Campaign is a member of a broad coalition of advocates, educators, and business leaders working to ensure the Great Teachers and Leaders Act continues to be implemented with fidelity so every child has a high-quality teacher in their classroom and leader in their school. Learn more about a recent evaluation redesign process co-led by the Children’s Campaign here, or the continued implementation of Senate Bill 10-191 and the state’s model evaluation system here.