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Educator Talent COVID-19 FAQs

Overview

Our staff has received numerous inquiries regarding the impacts of COVID-19 as it relates to several educator talent initiatives such as to educator preparation, educator effectiveness, and licensing. In response, we've created the Educator Talent COVID-19 FAQ webpage to provide timely information on our most frequently asked questions. Updates and additional program and/or policy guidance related to the impact of COVID-19 is also available on CDE's COVID-19 Resources for Schools webpage.

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How do COVID-19-related closures impact access to Praxis exams?

With testing center closures, ETS has provided relief in the following ways:

  • Waived rescheduling fees for candidates whose scheduled exams were canceled during this time.
  • Temporarily reduced the price of practice tests by 30% and extended the subscription to 180 days and 15 uses.
    • Candidates can enter the code PRACTICE at checkout to receive the discount.
  • Expand testing windows permanently, beginning in September 2020, to help alleviate testing capacity concerns.
  • PRAXIS at Home - a new service that allows teacher candidates to take many of the same tests offered in testing centers online through a collaboration with Proctor U.
    • To reschedule from a test center to an at home test, contact Praxis customer support from Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-772-9476 to reschedule free of charge. You must contact customer support at least three days before your test date, not including the day of your test, in order to reschedule to an at home appointment. Important note: Rescheduling through your ETS account will result in a non-refundable rescheduling fee.

For the latest information or to register for PRAXIS at Home, please refer to the ETS website.

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What happens when a candidate, due to COVID-19-related closures, does not have access to the PRAXIS test(s) needed to obtain a license?

In May, ETS launched PRAXIS at Home, providing individuals access to the nation's 70+ most administered exams in the comfort of home (including 24 of those approved by the Colorado State Board of Education). The accommodations described in the grid below apply only to  individuals whose exams are not available via PRAXIS at Home (for ex., world language exams). These and other exams will remain available to in-person testing once centers re-open. (Check to see if a Prometric test center is open near you!) 

If, however, the exam(s) you need are not administered via this option and you are not able to take it at a test center, CDE invites all first-time licensure applicants -- including recent Colorado graduates, Colorado alternative teacher candidates and holders of third TEE authorizations -- seeking an initial license to submit applications sans test score reports, which we will hold open through until you are able to take the exam or Nov. 30, 2020 (whichever is sooner).* This will allow:

  • Districts to verify background checks (and CDE to investigate backgrounds, as necessary)
  • Districts to verify a candidate's pending application
  • Candidates time to take the requisite exam(s), upload the score report(s) into their application and receive an initial license.
  • Candidates to meet in-field requirements for the December 2020 HR data submission/report.

*This provision applies to in-state candidates who only are missing test scores. Applications submitted with other or additional deficiencies may be determined to be incomplete and may not be granted this extension.

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Test scores are required for program completion. As an Educator Preparation Program (EPP), can we sign the APV when a candidate completes the program but hasn't completed a required Praxis content exam?

For traditional candidates, EPPs may complete the form as usual, but should check the "no" box and, in the space provided, indicate "Needs PRAXIS exam(s) / Delay due to COVID-19." This will allow the candidate to apply for a license and have until Nov. 30, 2020 to complete the required exams(s) (see preceding question). Additional licensure-specific FAQs may be found here.

For alternative candidates, this would apply only to those needing to take and pass the PRAXIS 5354 special education exam, and program staff may complete the APV as indicated above. (Please contact CDE's director of licensure, Tanya Klein, if you discover an outlier situation.)

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           Where do I find information that CDE is sharing with schools and districts on COVID-19?

CDE has a collection of fact sheets and guidance for local school districts, parents and students on our COVID-19 Resources for Schools website.

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Will there be an extension for the Designated Agency Data Collection (DADC) due to the transition to remote and online learning?

For designated agencies that need additional time to complete the DADC, the deadline has been extended to Sept. 30, 2020. Please note that submitting your data earlier will allow you to finish the 2019-2020 collection prior to beginning to collect new data for the 2020-2021 academic year, as well as allow you to avoid adding to your tasks to complete during the busy beginning of the next school year.

 


Will districts, charter schools and BOCES be required to submit educator effectiveness ratings next year in the 2020-2021 HR Collection?

No. The Governor's Executive Order pauses the requirement on districts, charter schools and BOCES (together, “Local Education Agencies or LEAs”) to annually evaluate licensed personnel this year (2019-2020). State Board of Education rule, 1 CCR 301-87 (6.01) sets forth the requirements for the collection and reporting of educator effectiveness measures. CDE will not request educator effectiveness data in the 2020-21 HR Collection, and, instead, will require that districts zero-fill the educator ratings fields in the 2020-21 HR Collection.

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What is the impact on non-probationary educators who have one or two years of ineffective ratings?

LEAs may choose to complete an evaluation of any educator, including any non-probationary teacher who may lose his/her non-probationary status. As a reminder, a non-probationary teacher “who has had two consecutive years of demonstrated ineffectiveness” reverts to probationary status. § 22-63-103(7), C.R.S.

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What about portability? In the 2020-2021 school year, what years' evaluations will non-probationary teachers applying for portability need to submit to the hiring LEA?

The portability statute provides that a non-probationary teacher may provide evaluation evidence for the “prior two years” and that the hiring district will grant non-probationary status based on “two consecutive performance evaluations with effectiveness ratings in good standing.” The statute simply does not address what should happen if a teacher seeking to retain non-probationary status with a new LEA lacks an evaluation for the 2019-2020 school year.

Our hope is that employers and applicants will work together to develop a shared understanding in such circumstances, including by using the two previous evaluations (2017-2018 and 2018-2019). Ultimately, hiring LEAs will make a local decision on what evaluations to accept from newly-hired non-probationary teachers for purposes of portability.

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What impact will the pause in state CMAS testing have on educator evaluations?

Per statute, state summative assessment data cannot be used unless it is available prior to the end of that school year. For summative assessment data, such as the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) statewide annual assessments, that comes to LEAs after the end of the school year, that data is used in the next year's measurement of student learning. Accordingly, the cancellation of the spring 2020 CMAS testing did not impact the 2019-2020 evaluation process.

The cancellation of the spring 2020 CMAS testing will impact the 2020-2021 evaluation cycle, however. LEAs will need to adjust their measures of student learning frameworks to not use CMAS data. State relief is not necessary in order for them to make these adjustments because statute requires use of state summative data only “when available.”

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Will the deadline for LEAs' assurances regarding educator effectiveness be extended?

Educator effectiveness assurances are due by July 1, according to state board rules. The assurances collected by July 1, 2020, pertain to educator evaluation practices planned for 2020-2021 school year.

CDE will allow LEAs to adjust their evaluation systems for the 2020-2021 school year after they have submitted their assurances. This flexibility will give LEAs more time to change their frameworks for measures of students learning and measures of student outcomes for the 2020-2021 evaluation cycle (see previous question).


 

As schools are using online and remote learning during the closures, can mentoring occur virtually as well?

 

Yes, CDE highly encourages remote coaching and support for all new teachers to continue during this time. As all teachers are being challenged during this time to support and continue educating our students, novice and beginning teachers will continue to need that extra support by administrators, colleagues and mentors.

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Can we eliminate or extend the options for the required professional development under the READ Act for teachers teaching in grades K-3 due to the closure of in-person learning?

Senate Bill 19-199 requires that all K-3 teachers demonstrate they have completed the scientifically or evidence based practice training requirement under the READ Act by the fall of the 2021-2022 school year. The law provides a one year extension for districts to come into compliance with this requirement. As more details emerge about the impact of COVID-19, CDE will assess if extensions beyond the additional year are necessary.


What happens if I am unable to access a Praxis exam during the COVID-19 closures?

***Registration is open for PRAXIS at Home, ETS's latest option providing access to the nation's 70 most administered exams (including 26 of those approved by the Colorado State Board of Education). These and other exams will remain available to in-person testing once centers re-open.***

The following scenarios are provided so that individuals may identify themselves and then follow the associated guidelines in order to submit applications for the proper credentials.

Educators From Outside Colorado

I am an out-of-state teacher, principal or administrator (e.g., superintendent or director of special or gifted education) who first needs to pass a PRAXIS exam to qualify for a Colorado teacher, principal or administrator license.

Check the ETS PRAXIS at Home webpage to see if the exam(s) you need to take are offered.

Complete and submit an application for the license-type requested. As long as all other requirements are met, we may issue an interim authorization, which will allow you to serve in that capacity for one year while you prepare for and take the exam(s). Upon passing, you may then apply for a full credential by submitting an application to advance from an interim authorization to an initial or professional license. Should you find you need additional time, an interim authorization may be renewed one time.

I am an out-of-state special services provider and first need to pass an exam in order to qualify for a Colorado special services license or authorization.

For school counselors and speech-language pathologist assistants, please submit an emergency authorization application. Note: Your employing Colorado school district will need to complete a form for you to include in the application.

For all other special services providers, please submit a temporary educator eligibility (TEE) authorization application. Note: Your employing Colorado school district will need to complete a form for you to include in the application.

Educators Within Colorado

The accommodations described in the grid below apply only to  individuals whose exams are not available via PRAXIS at Home (for ex., world language exams). Check the ETS PRAXIS at Home webpage to see if the exam(s) you need to take are offered. If not, recent Colorado graduates, Colorado alternative teacher candidates and those who hold a Colorado authorization that cannot be renewed again – and who meet all other requirements* – should complete and submit the application you would submit if you had taken and passed the exam:

I hold ...

What should I do?

How will this help me?

BA or higher degree; teacher/principal/administrator preparation program; student teaching/field experience

Apply for an initial license

1. CDE will keep your application open through Nov. 30, 2020, which will allow you time to take the requisite exam(s) and upload the score report(s) to your application.

2. Districts will be able to verify your background checks, your submitted application and that it is pending fulfillment of the exam requirement.

3. CDE will be able to begin to investigate/clear backgrounds, if necessary.

4. Upon receipt of the score report, CDE will issue a license (or educator interpreter authorization) effective the date you provide the test score report.

5. Fulfilling this requirement by Nov. 30, 2020, will allow you to be considered in-field for December 2020 reporting purposes.

BA or MA degree (based on specialty); completion of approved SSP preparation program; DORA license (if required)

Interim authorization #2 or Interim authorization / school counselor

Emergency authorization #2

TEE #3

Emergency educational interpreter authorization #3

Apply for an educator interpreter authorization.

BA or higher degree (and want to participate in alternative teacher preparation)

Apply for an alternative teacher license (must include a complete Statement of Assurance)

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What if I need to renew my professional license, but am missing a few hours of professional development (or don't have my certificates, because they're in my files at school) during the COVID-19 crisis?

I hold …

What should I do?

How will this help me?

Professional teacher, SSP, principal or administrator license; SLPA or educational interpreter authorization.

Submit an application to renew the appropriate credential prior to its expiration.

1. State statute (CRS 22-4-104(7)) stipulates that if an application to renew a credential is submitted prior to the present credential’s expiration date, the present credential remains valid until CDE takes action on the renewal application.

2. CDE will hold open your application for 90 days, allowing you time to obtain additional PD, retrieve certificates, etc., and upload that information to your application.

3. Upon receipt, CDE will issue your credential.

4. Districts will be able to verify that you have a pending application.

Initial teacher, SSP, principal or administrator license and have a completed, appropriate induction program

Apply to advance to a professional license

1. CDE will hold open your application for 90 days, allowing you time to obtain or retrieve certificate(s) of completion and upload that information to your application.

2. Upon receipt, CDE will issue your credential.

3. Districts will be able to verify that you have a pending application.

Initial CTE

Apply to advance to a profession CTE authorization

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What if ...?

I hold …

What should I do?

How will this help me?

Interim authorization #1

Apply to renew the applicable authorization

1.State statute permits an interim or emergency authorization to be renewed once and a TEE or emergency educational interpreter authorization to be renewed up to twice (with documented evidence of advancement toward meeting the requirements for the full license or authorization).

2. Renewing the credential will allow you to serve in that position for up to one year while also providing you time to prepare for and take the requisite exam(s).

Emergency authorization #1

TEE #1 or #2

Emergency educational interpreter #1 or #2

Initial teacher, SSP, principal or administrator license #2 (or higher) and have not completed an appropriate induction program

Apply to renew the initial license.

1.Statute allows for CDE to renew an initial license more than once if the license-holder has not been able to complete an appropriate induction program. (COVID-19 is a perfectly good reason for not having been able to do so!)

2. Renewing the license will allow you to serve (or be eligible to serve) in this capacity for another three years and complete an appropriate induction program (if employed in that role).

An expired professional license, SLPA or educational interpreter authorization

Apply to renew your professional license ASAP.

While CDE will not be able to process your application until all information has been received -- nor will we be able to backdate it -- districts will be able to verify your pending application.

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Are CBI vendors closed for fingerprint and background check purposes due to COVID-19?

No, both of the CBI-approved vendors continue to provide this essential service. Please visit our Fingerprints page for more information on scheduling an appointment to have your fingerprints taken and electronically submitted to CBI.

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