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Findings by State - Colorado

Overview

Scope of Review in Colorado
  1741 New teachers from the state's higher education institutions included in Review (2010)
  15 Institutions evaluated by NCTQ in the 2013 Review
-16 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-16 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
  13 Institutions with sufficient data for an overall program rating
-Collectively supplying 90% of the state's traditionally trained teachers
-13 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-14 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
40% Institutions sharing information for the Review
Big "take-aways" about teacher preparation in Colorado:

  • Highly rated programs -- Across the country, NCTQ identified 21 elementary programs (4 percent of those rated) and 84 secondary programs (14 percent) for the Teacher Prep Review Honor Roll, meaning that a program earns at least three out of four possible stars. No Colorado programs are on the Honor Roll.

  • Selectivity in admissions -- The Review found that only 19 percent of elementary and secondary programs in Colorado restrict admissions to the top half of the college-going population, compared to 28 percent nationwide. Countries where students consistently outperform the U.S. typically set an even higher bar, with teacher prep programs recruiting candidates from the top third of the college-going population.

Some worry that increasing admissions requirements will have a negative effect on the diversity of teacher candidates. By increasing the rigor and therefore the prestige of teacher preparation the profession will attract more talent, including talented minorities. This is not an impossible dream: 83 programs across the country earn a Strong Design designation on this standard because they are both selective and diverse, including the undergraduate elementary and secondary programs at Colorado State University.

  • Early reading instruction -- 46 percent of evaluated elementary programs in Colorado are preparing teacher candidates in effective, scientifically based reading instruction, a better finding than the small minority of programs (29 percent) providing such training nationally.

  • Elementary math -- A mere 19 percent of evaluated elementary programs nationwide provide strong preparation to teach elementary mathematics, training that mirrors the practices of higher performing nations such as Singapore and South Korea. 27 percent of the evaluated elementary programs in Colorado provide such training.

  • Student teaching -- Of the evaluated elementary and secondary programs in Colorado, 90 percent entirely fail to ensure a high quality student teaching experience, in which candidates are assigned only to highly skilled teachers and receive frequent concrete feedback. 71 percent of programs across the country failed this standard.

  • Classroom management -- 40 percent of the evaluated Colorado elementary and secondary programs earn a perfect four stars for providing feedback to teacher candidates on concrete classroom management strategies to improve classroom behavior, compared to 23 percent of evaluated programs nationwide.

  • Content preparation -- 13 percent of Colorado's elementary programs earn three or four stars for providing teacher candidates adequate content preparation, compared to 11 percent of elementary programs nationwide. At the high school level, only 6 percent of Colorado secondary programs earn four stars for content preparation, compared to 35 percent nationwide. Unique among all states, Colorado only offers general certifications in the sciences and social sciences and does not require licensing tests for any certification. In turn, the coursework requirements of high school programs do not ensure that teacher candidates will have content knowledge in every subject they will be certified to teach.

  • Outcome data -- 8 percent of Colorado's evaluated programs earn four stars for collecting data on their graduates, compared to 26 percent of evaluated programs in the national sample. In the absence of state efforts to connect student achievement data to teacher preparation programs, administer surveys of graduates and employers or require administration of teacher performance assessments (TPAs), programs that fare poorly on this standard have not taken the initiative to collect any such data on their own.

Colorado Elementary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution

Colorado Secondary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution


Programs that earned 3-star rating or more

No 3-star rated programs

Consumer Alert: Programs earning no stars

Endorsers of the Review in Colorado

A+ Denver
Colorado Children's Campaign
Colorado Succeeds
DFER-CO

John Barry, Superintendent, Aurora Public Schools
Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools

Colorado's Teacher Prep Review was made possible by the following foundations and organizations

Colorado funders
The Anschutz Foundation
Donnell-Kay Foundation

A limited portion of funds was provided by national funders
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Gleason Family Foundation
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Searle Freedom Trust
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
The Teaching Commission
Anonymous (2)


Institution List

Institutions with Teacher Training Rated
Adams State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  574
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Colorado Christian University Annual new teacher production (2010):  31
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Colorado Mesa University Annual new teacher production (2010):  23
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Colorado State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  124
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Colorado State University - Pueblo Annual new teacher production (2010):  34
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Fort Lewis College Annual new teacher production (2010):  53
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Jones International University Annual new teacher production (2010):  4
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Metropolitan State University of Denver Annual new teacher production (2010):  258
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Regis University Annual new teacher production (2010):  137
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
University of Colorado Boulder Annual new teacher production (2010):  54
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
University of Colorado Colorado Springs Annual new teacher production (2010):  54
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
University of Colorado Denver Annual new teacher production (2010):  119
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Secondary
University of Denver Annual new teacher production (2010):  19
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
University of Northern Colorado Annual new teacher production (2010):  246
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education Some standard scores available
Western State Colorado University Annual new teacher production (2010):  11
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary

Institutions with Teacher Training Not Rated

Colorado College

State Context

Good preparation does not guarantee that teachers will ultimately be effective, but there is much that states can do to ensure that new teachers are classroom ready. The tables below are drawn from NCTQ's 2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook (Full State Report here) and offer a summary of Colorado's teacher preparation policies, identifying strong policies and those in need of improvement.

Each state has a set of laws, rules and regulations that govern how teachers are prepared for the classroom. These policies establish guidelines for admission to teacher preparation programs, set standards for what teachers should know and be able to do in order to be licensed, and can be used to hold preparation programs accountable for the quality of teachers they produce.

Although states regulate most aspects of how teachers are prepared, where in each state this authority lies is not standard across the country. And in some states, authority for different components of teacher preparation rests with different entities.