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Applications for Equity for Teachers and Students: Investigating Systemic Racism to Act for Equity in Our Schools - Professional Learning Series now open

The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Education Association invite district teams to apply to participate in a professional learning series that provides powerful opportunities to reflect upon past and present manifestations of racism and inequity in policies and practices in the United States.  This opportunity is not another training but rather a deep exploration of issues of equity through the lens of race with the goal of supporting leaders to create policies that enact equity for all teachers and students.  This learning series consists of three (3) all-day sessions where teams will be asked to examine the roots of racism as well as the current-day manifestations in government and education policy and practice.  The sessions will be facilitated by The Gemini Group, LLC, a Colorado-based organization dedicated to helping groups achieve not only a greater understanding of the foundation and dynamics of racial equity, but more importantly how to implement equity to reduce disparities in communities and improve outcomes for all residents.

Districts/BOCES are asked to apply to participate (there is no cost to participate).  District/BOCES teams must consist of 3 - 6 members and should include individuals/leaders who can influence, advocate, and enact district policy and practice.   To apply, complete the Application Form, including uploading required documents: Team Contact List, and Response Sheet by Friday, Jan 3, 2020.  To learn more about the application process, visit the Equity for Teachers and Students Invitation.  For questions, contact Renee Lovato at lovato_r@cde.state.co.us

Applications for the Colorado Educator Loan Forgiveness Program now open

SB 19-003, Colorado Educator Loan Forgiveness Program, authorizes the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) to offer loan repayment on qualified loans for educators who serve in hard-to-fill positions in Colorado.  Qualifying educators can receive an annual payment of up to $5,000 towards their qualified higher education loan balance for up to five years.  Applications are due Feb 21, 2020.  Please visit the Colorado Department of Higher Education's website to learn more.

Local Flexibility for Educator Evaluation

The Educator Effectiveness Office has created is new web area for districts/BOCES to learn more about areas of differentiation and efficiency that can be used within local evaluation practices. Discover practical ways to find time, differentiate evaluations, maximize measures of student learning/outcomes (MSL/Os) and engage stakeholders as part of the educator evaluation process. Learn more by visiting the Local Flexibility for Educator Evaluation web area.

New Teacher of Record License and Grant Program

HB18-1309 created the Teacher of Record License, Teacher of Record Program, and Grow Your Own Educator Program in response to the teacher shortage. When a district, BOCES, or charter is in need of a licensed teacher in a designated shortage area, and no qualified applicants have applied for the position, the teacher of record license and associated programs may be used to fill the position. This option allows an individual to serve as the teacher of record in a classroom while completing up to the remaining 36 credit hours of a teacher preparation program. The Grow Your Own Educator grant program provides funding to support the teacher’s tuition while they complete these remaining credit hours. Click here for more detailed information.

Teacher-Student Data Link (TSDL) collection update for 2019-2020

The 2018-19 TSDL collection is on pause, meaning that for this year it is an optional collection except for districts serving migrant students. CDE put this year’s collection on pause in order to solicit stakeholder input. Toward that end, last fall we established a stakeholder group and obtained the help of the Education Commission of the States (ECS) to facilitate it. The stakeholder group arrived at a set of recommendations (see entire stakeholder report for more detail) that CDE is actively considering. Namely, the stakeholder group recommends that CDE take steps to improve and streamline the TSDL collection and make the data collected in TSDL more useful to districts. In an effort to implement these recommendations, this spring CDE will engage in a detailed re-examination of data elements across CDE collections to specify source requirements and identify redundancy.

In the 2019-20 school year the TSDL collection will resume (pending any legislative changes this session) with at least one significant reduction in effort: student records required to be submitted for TSDL will be restricted to middle and high school students. Other changes to TSDL remain unknown at this point, pending results of the re-examination of data elements. Additionally, offices reporting on TSDL data will consider how to make their reports more useful to districts as the work on the data elements unfolds. Please see the website for additional details about the 2019-2020 collection.

Student Teacher/In-Field Experience fingerprint process now available

CDE has launched a new fingerprint process for students completing field experience, student teaching and any other pre-service placement in a classroom. This new process aligns with recently passed legislation, SB 18-229 Student Teacher Criminal History Checks, and will allow CDE to share criminal history information, if any exists, with the students’ educator preparation program and school district/charter school. Making this information available will allow educator preparation programs and school districts/charter schools to make informed decisions about placing students in the classroom. This will also allow students to be fingerprinted once for all their pre-service placements.

While this new process provides enhanced visibility of a field experience student's criminal history and potential barriers that their history may present in their pursuit of educational licensure, it is critical for all stakeholders to understand that field experience students WILL NOT undergo a full background investigation. A full background check with any criminal history results will only occur when an individual meets licensure requirements and submits an application for a CDE-issued credential. CDE will only act as a pass-through for information returned in fingerprint-based criminal history checks, allowing educator preparation programs and school districts to make an informed decision when placing a field experience student.

Please visit the Fingerprinting for Field Experience Educators (Student Teachers) web page for additional information.

Free ETS® test prep tool and data manager upgrades now available

The Khan Academy®and Praxis® Core program have teamed up to offer a free test prep tool.  Teacher licensure candidates now have an opportunity to gain a full understanding of every skill included in the exam.

ETS®  recently launched its upgrade to the ETS® Data Manager for educator preparation programs. One exciting new feature is the ability to run “First Attempt” reports. They have also enhanced the searching capabilities within different reports.

To learn more about either of these topics and other news from ETS® review the April 2019 ETS® e-newsletter

Learn about district, BOCES and charter school parent notification requirements, House Bill 18-1269

House Bill 18-1269 was passed during the 2018 legislative season with an effective date of August 15th, 2018. The law creates a new section, 22-1-130 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.), which requires public school districts, Board of Cooperative Services (BOCES) and charter schools to notify parents of students anytime a school employee is charged with certain crimes.

Understanding the English Learner Professional Learning requirements for teachers with a professional license

In July 2018, the State Board of Education approved new rules to ensure educators in Colorado are prepared to meet the needs of English learners in our schools. The new English Learner Professional Learning requirements must be met only by teachers with professional licenses with an elementary, English language arts, math, science or social studies endorsement. In addition, teachers with licenses in all other endorsement areas may elect to also meet the requirements. The same holds true for special service providers, principals and administrators. Individuals with a culturally and linguistically diverse endorsement, or its linguistically diverse predecessor, automatically meet this requirement.

Educators who choose to meet the English Learner PD requirement but aren't required to can visit the Educator Talent News webpage for more information.

Detailed information about the English Learner PD requirement, the timeline for meeting it and how educators may document and demonstrate that they have done so can be found on at the English Learner PD Requirements - Information for Educators webpage.

Model Code of Ethics (MCEE)

The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) presents the Model Code of Ethics (MCEE), a common language of ethics developed by educators for educators.  The MCEE is the first common language of ethics that can support and guide decisions regarding professional practice.  Educators and administrators are encouraged to include the following listed resources in a future training or Professional Learning Community (PLC).  For questions or comments contact NASDTEC at support@nasdtec.org.

  • MCEE video featuring the educators who helped develop the MCEE, speaking to the importance of the code and its application in the classroom
  • DistruptEd two-part video conversation with Troy Hutchings and Phil Rogers about the Code of Ethics (Part 1 and Part 2)

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