Challenges, rewards of teacher identifier systems
outlined in new report

When the Colorado Legislature enacted HB-1065 last session, it launched the state on the path toward creating a unique teacher identifier system to track data about teaching, teacher training programs, education policy and student achievement. But the process of developing such a system is extremely complex and will require thoughtful consideration, expanded technical capacity, training, sensitivity and trust.

Those are just a few of the conclusions from a series of five white papers released today by the Center for Education Policy Analysis at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs and the Colorado Children’s Campaign.

The research, which emerged from a symposium held at the University of Colorado last February, was produced by Robert Reichardt, director of the Center for Education Policy Analysis; Jason Glass, director of human resources at Eagle County Schools; Elliott Asp, assistant superintendent for performance improvement at Cherry Creek Schools; Dan Goldhaber of the University of Washington; and Kathryn Rooney and Robert Palaich from the consulting firm of Augenblick, Palaich and Associates.

“With the teacher identifier, education data systems allow people from teachers and parents to the governor and legislators to learn about what’s working and not working in Colorado’s classrooms, schools and in the education system statewide,” said Reichardt.

The cost of a teacher identifier system is estimated at $686,000 to $3 million, depending on the components. Implementing such systems across the country is a key goal of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, so there is potential support through the federal “Race to the Top” and other grant programs.

Teacher identifiers are considered essential in the nation’s effort to close the achievement gap.

“Teacher identifiers can be an extraordinary tool for evaluating and improving education,” said Chris Watney, interim president of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “If done well, we can improve the system of education for teachers and, most importantly, the educational outcomes of students statewide. By acting on the lessons that others have learned about identifiers, we greatly improve the potential for creating a system that is fully capable of achieving these important goals.”

Both the full report and an executive summary are available at and

The Center for Education Policy Analysis

The mission of the Center for Education Policy Analysis is to provide applied research and program evaluation, strategic planning, and facilitation that enhance the capacity of local and national education communities to make informed decisions and solve problems, especially to ensure the most efficacious use of public resources and improve access and outcomes for disadvantaged populations.

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