Educator Effectiveness (SB 191)

  • Welcome to CASB’s Educator Effectiveness resource page. Here you will find a one-stop shop for everything related to SB 191’s implementation. Please continue to check this webpage for updates regarding SB 191 from CASB’s member legal resources, policy and communications departments. Send any comments, questions or page feedback to Leslie Bogar, CASB director of professional learning.



    In 2010, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 10-191, frequently referred to as the Educator Effectiveness law. SB 191 amended the “Licensed Personnel Performance Evaluation Act,” C.R.S. 22-9-101 et seq. (the Evaluation Act) and the “Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act of 1990,” C.R.S. 22-63-101 et seq. (TECDA). These changes established new requirements for evaluating licensed personnel and altered the way that a teacher earns and maintains his or her status as a nonprobationary teacher.

    SB 191 established a performance evaluation system that measures the “effectiveness” of licensed personnel based on quality standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE). In the 2013-14 school year, all Colorado school boards were required to implement an evaluation system for teachers and principals that aligned with the state’s teacher and principal quality standards and SBE rules. Most boards chose to adopt the state’s model evaluation system.

    Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, districts were required to annually evaluate “specialized service professionals” (SSPs) in addition to principals and teachers. The term “SSP” includes licensed personnel such as audiologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school counselors, school nurses, school orientation and mobility specialists, school psychologists, school social workers and speech and language pathologists. Evaluations of SSPs must be in accordance with the state’s SSP quality standards and SBE rules.

    Currently, a probationary teacher must have three consecutive years of demonstrated effectiveness to earn nonprobationary status. If a nonprobationary teacher is evaluated as less than effective for two consecutive years, that teacher loses nonprobationary status and becomes probationary. The 2013-14 school year was a “hold harmless” year that did not affect a teacher’s nonprobationary status. In the 2014-15 school year, ineffective and partially effective ratings began to count toward the two consecutive years required to trigger the loss of a teacher’s nonprobationary status. Because the provisions of SB 191 began to apply to SSPs in 2014-15, the 2014-15 school year was a “hold harmless” year for those SSPs protected by TECDA.


    Use of Student Academic Growth in Evaluations

    As amended by SB 191, the Evaluation Act specifically requires that at least 50 percent of teacher and principal evaluations be determined by the academic growth of students. Similarly, SBE rules implementing SB 191 require at least 50 percent of the SSP’s evaluation to be based on student learning outcomes.

    Due to 2014 state legislation, districts were given additional time to begin implementing the student growth portion of their evaluation systems. Local boards of education had the discretion to determine how much weight (between 0 and 50 percent) student academic growth had in licensed personnel evaluation ratings for the 2014-15 school year only. See SB 14-165.

    In 2015, the state legislature passed HB 15-1323, which amended the Evaluation Act to address the state’s transition to a new state assessment system. HB 15-1323 provides that districts may use the results of state assessments administered during the 2014-15 school year only as baseline data for measuring student academic growth in 2015-16 and future school years. C.R.S. 22-9-106(2.5)(c)(I). The bill also provides that the results of state assessments may be used in assigning that same year’s evaluation ratings only if the district receives the assessment results at least two weeks before the end of the school year. If state assessment results are not received by this deadline, then the district may use those state assessment results only in assigning evaluation ratings for the following academic year. C.R.S. 22-9-106(c)(II). Finally, in any year in which the district does not receive the state assessment results by the deadline, the district must use alternate measures of student academic growth, including the results of local assessments, if available. Id.


    Teacher Incentive Systems

    As revised by SB 191, the Evaluation Act requires local boards of education to develop an incentive system encouraging effective teachers in high-performing schools to move to schools with low performance ratings. C.R.S. 22-9-106(8). The incentive system must be developed in collaboration with a local teachers association or, if no association exists, with teachers from the district. Because the Evaluation Act specifically requires that the incentive system encourage teachers to move from high-performing schools to low-performing schools, it is not clear if/how this requirement applies to districts that do not have any low- performing schools and/or to rural districts with only one K-12 school.

    As our members are well aware, significant financial and other resources are necessary to design and implement teacher incentive systems, which typically involve alternative compensation plans that reward teachers based on student performance and/or demonstrated leadership. A few Colorado districts are currently implementing alternative compensation or “pay for performance” plans, but the vast majority of districts do not currently have the resources or time necessary to design and implement teacher incentive systems. We also note that the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has not focused on teacher incentive systems in its monitoring of school districts’ implementation of SB 191’s requirements.

    For districts interested in exploring teacher incentive systems to help recruit and retain effective teachers, the following link discusses a few Colorado districts that are implementing alternative teacher compensation plans.

    Alternative Compensation: Exploring Teacher Pay Reform in Colorado
    List of additional research/resources


    CASB Policy Updates Pertaining to SB 191


    The following policy updates address specific provisions of SB 191.

    Special Policy Update: A June 2015 issue discussing portability of a teacher’s nonprobationary status and a CASB sample policy regarding portability. 
    Policy Parameters:A December 2014 issue revising the CASB sample evaluation policies to address the evaluation of SSPs

    Special Policy Update: An August 2013 update explaining SB 10-191’s policy implications concerning the evaluation of licensed personnel.

    Policy Parameters: A March 2012 issue summarizing SB 10-191’s policy implications concerning teacher reductions in force, teacher displacement and mutual consent, and teacher and superintendent contracts.


    Additional Resources