Senator Johnston joined Governor John Hickenlooper yesterday morning as he signed into law new rules to evaluate and measure the growth of Colorado’s teachers and principals. The rules are the result of Senator Johnston’s Great Teachers and Leaders Bill (SB-191) that was approved in 2010.

Governor Hickenlooper and Senator Nancy Spence (R-Centenniel), the bill’s Senate co-sponsor, both thanked Senator Johnston for his work in bringing together groups with different interests and finding common ground. Per SB 10-191, the rules to measure growth were designed by the students, parents, and teachers, and approved unanimously by the State Board of Education, and submitted to the legislature for review. The bill, HB 12-1001, received 99 out of a possible 100 votes in the Colorado legislature — and a broader coalition of bipartisan support than the bill received two years ago.

KDVR.com attended the bill signing ceremony:

Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, who authored and sponsored Senate Bill 191 in 2009, his first session in the legislature, heralded the new rules.

“The coalition behind these rules is now broader and deeper than it was before,” Johnston said. . . .

The new rules, among other things, require that at least 50 percent of teacher and principal evaluations are based on student academic growth as measured by results on statewide tests and other measures.

The new system will be implemented in all school districts in 2013-14, and 2015-16 is the first year that evaluations will be used to determine if a teacher loses tenure based on poor performance in the classroom.

For more information on the Great Teachers and Leaders Law, click here. For more on the SB-191 rules, click here.

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