Leading up to the 2020–21 school year, Colorado schools sought to fill 6,910 teaching positions representing 12.44% of all teaching positions in the state. Of those positions, 1,128 remained unfilled or were filled through a shortage mechanism (e.g., long-term substitutes, retired educators, alternative/emergency authorizations). The ability of schools and districts to retain teachers reduces the demand and expense related to recruitment, and limits the negative impact teacher turnover has on student achievement and school improvement efforts, particularly in the lowest performing schools and in high-poverty, high-minority school communities.
R12CC is supporting the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and its stakeholders to develop Geographic Information System (GIS) maps to explore the influences of place on educator shortages in the state. The custom-designed GIS maps incorporate a variety of demographic, socioeconomic, and talent management data, including trend data, allowing stakeholders to explore relationships and patterns among data and identify possible bright spots where specific workforce pipeline approaches or strategies may have been effective.
Through facilitated data analysis, identification of effective/evidence-based approaches, and a report on Colorado bright spots, R12CC will assist CDE and education stakeholders to better understand factors contributing to educator shortage and retention challenges, and identify and share effective locally driven practices.
R12CC is also assisting CDE to update the Colorado Dropout Prevention Framework to support continuous improvement in student reengagement and recovery efforts. While Colorado’s dropout rate is at its lowest (1.8%) point in a decade, it has remained fairly stationary over those years. However, disruptions due to COVID-19 threaten to increase the dropout rate, potentially exceeding the 8,561 students who dropped out last school year.
To update the framework, R12CC is supporting CDE through multiple and iterative interdependent processes, including the facilitated identification of framework content and format revisions, aligning the framework to other departmental frameworks, collecting input from internal stakeholders on framework updates, and the formation of external stakeholder outreach and implementation plans. Collectively, these processes will help create an updated framework that is innovative, adaptive, and responsive to student needs.
Leading up to the 2019–20 school year, Colorado schools sought to fill 7,242 teaching positions representing 13.25% of all teaching positions in the state (Colorado Department of Education, 2020). Of those positions, 1,132 remained unfilled or were filled through a