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Colorado School Improvement Research Partnership

About the Partnership

The Colorado School Improvement Research Partnership (CO School Improvement RP) comprises researchers, policymakers, and practitioners who share a common goal of supporting school improvement efforts throughout the state of Colorado in order to improve student learning outcomes. To meet this goal, the partnership advances technical support projects focused on building SEA and district capacity to evaluate education programs, analyzing the cost of programs relative to their benefits to schools, and developing a library of resources that teachers and administrators can leverage to better understand student and school data. The CO School Improvement RP shares project resources and challenges to advance practices among workgroups within the state.

Focus Area

Program Evaluation Icon

Program Evaluation: focuses on supporting CDE’s initiatives to build the capacity of district staff to conduct their own evaluations and to assess the benefits of programs relative to their costs and district data use.

Summary of Related Projects


 Webinar: Cost-Effectiveness, Cost-Feasibility, and Cost-Benefit Methods: What Are These Methods? And How Can School Districts Benefit from Using Them?


 Infographic: Colorado Department of Education Crosswalk: 2018 State and Federal School Identifications
This infographic provides a crosswalk of state and federal accountability system identifications for schools in Colorado.

Program Evaluation Training Toolkit
Closed Project
Program evaluation is important for assessing the implementation and outcomes of state and federally funded programs. However, state education agency personnel may not have the resources and tools to conduct effective program evaluations. The Program Evaluation Toolkit will provide resources and tools to support users in conducting their own program evaluations. The toolkit will comprise a series of eight modules that begin at the planning stages of an evaluation and progress to the presentation of findings to stakeholders. Each module will cover a critical step in the evaluation process. Users will be able to progress through the toolkit either sequentially or selectively, reviewing only those modules that directly pertain to their current evaluation needs.

Technical Support

Colorado Department of Education Program Evaluation Professional Development Modules
Closed Project
CDE leadership plans to increase the capacity of its staff to monitor the implementation and outcomes of its programs. This project provides coaching and consultation in a series of five professional development modules, through which CDE participants gain an understanding of evaluation principles and their applications. While three CDE programs serve as examples in the modules, the modules are designed to be independent of those programs so that others may also benefit from using the materials.

Measuring Growth in Early Literacy
Open Project
The revised READ Act (2012/2019) requires CDE to define “sufficient . . . growth to standard” over time for grade K–3 students identified as reading below grade level or having significant reading deficiencies. REL Central is partnering with CDE to determine an approach to define and measure sufficient growth to standard for these students. This project will support CDE to define sufficient growth to standard so that CDE can inform reporting, track progress over multiple years, and reach the goals of the READ Act.

Cost Analysis of District Interventions
Closed Project
This project responds to a request from state and district leaders in Colorado for assistance in better assessing the costs associated with implementing educational interventions. The project focuses on helping stakeholders (1) access existing research to make cost-efficient, data-driven decisions when choosing program interventions, and (2) develop an understanding on how to apply cost-analysis techniques to practical situations.

Colorado Department of Education Accountability and Data Analysis Resource Library
Closed Project
This project addresses the need of the Accountability and Data Analysis Unit (ADAU) at the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to develop and refine a resource library to support districts to use data for school improvement. ADAU has identified gaps in classroom- and school-level data use across the state, noting that small districts are in need of supports and resources to help perform analysis of existing school-, district-, and state-level data to inform school improvement efforts. To address this issue, ADAU has developed a plan for a new training and technical assistance program focused on increasing stakeholder understanding of Colorado’s accountability system. As part of this program, ADAU will develop a resource library to provide districts and schools across the state with access to tools and resources that promote data use in decision-making. REL Central is partnering with ADAU to develop a process for evaluating the current data-use resources, criteria for creating or adding new data-use resources to the library, and a plan for ongoing review of the resource library for utility, relevance, breadth, and depth. The project will expand the capacity of ADAU leadership and staff to critique current CDE resources, compile and create additional resources, and continuously review the resources.