In 2018, there was a conversation at Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC) around Colorado’s Teacher Performance Evaluation legislation, or SB 191. Senate Bill 10-191, also known as the Educator Effectiveness law, established new requirements for evaluating licensed personnel in Colorado based on quality standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Afterward, discussions around a new initiative called the Teacher-Informed Solutions in Performance Evaluation (TISPE) began.
TISPE was designed and developed by The Rose Community Foundation, a funder of systems-level change in Colorado, with support from Public Education and Business Coalition, Teach Plus, and Colorado Children’s Campaign. The TISPE Initiative was designed and developed to create a platform by which teacher voices and experiences could be brought to the forefront of any new policy and implementation discussions and changes related to Colorado’s Teacher Performance Evaluation legislation—SB 191.
TISPE went beyond discussion to real implementation experience. It was designed to bring teachers together to explore case examples on design and implementation in Colorado and beyond, and to then create funded opportunities for teachers to develop and implement micro-pilots. These micro-pilots would explore the possibilities and limitations of Colorado’s performance evaluation system in teachers’ home communities. With their experiences developed into case studies, teachers would then have the opportunity to come together to create suggestions for a set of teacher performance evaluation (TPE) design principles and insights that would be reported to legislators to inform the 2020 legislative session.
Mission Spark was brought on to serve as the program facilitator, administrator, and technical assistance provider of the TISPE initiative.
Those involved with the design of TISPE prioritized the importance of teachers’ voices informing what TPE looks like in Colorado—both in legislation and in implementation practice. Organizers of TISPE are not supporting a particular viewpoint around what TPE should look like and are not driving to any particular outcome. TISPE is about creating a vessel or platform from which teachers can explore this topic, with adequate supports in terms of funding and technical assistance.
With this in mind, Mission Spark provided the following services for TISPE:
- Providing project design framework
- Organizing and facilitating the February Teacher Summit; Interviewing and developing case studies on effective models of teacher performance evaluation
- Designing the grant application for and selection process of funded micro-pilots
- Providing technical support and monitoring of micro-pilots
- Drafting micro-pilot case studies
- Providing framework for a legislator engagement webinar
- (The following is scheduled for Fall 2019)
- Designing, organizing and facilitating a fall Teacher Summit which will showcase the micro-pilot projects, learnings and insights, and drafting Guiding Principles for policy modifications and suggestions for implementation practices
- Creating a written brief to feature the micro-pilot projects and insights, and share teachers’ Guiding Principles and Recommendations that will be shared with Legislators and CDE by November of 2019, to inform the 2020 legislative session.
SB 191 has been fully implemented in Colorado since 2014, providing ample experience from data regarding both the effectiveness of the law in its current design and impact on teachers. At the outset of the creation of the legislation, those involved framed SB 191 as needing review and changes based on the experience of early implementation. There is momentum among policymakers to review and potentially alter the legislation in the coming sessions.
Mission Spark’s work will be used to help bring teachers’ ideas and experience to the forefront of the discussion related to teacher performance evaluation. TISPE’s outcomes, guiding principles and recommendations will be shared with Legislators and CDE by November of 2019, to inform the 2020 legislative session.