Colorado’s Student Perception Survey

Student Perception Survey ToolkitFull Technical ReportAdditional Resources for Teachers

Colorado’s Student Perception Survey

We know that teachers care about improving their instructional practice, and we know that they care about their students. Historically, direct feedback from students has been not been included in the data available to improve instructional practice. However, research has shown that student perception data is in many cases more valuable than classroom observations and student growth measures on standardized tests. In fact, the combination of student perception, classroom observation and student growth provides the most clear and comprehensive picture of teacher performance. Furthermore, studies have shown that students who are formally asked to evaluate their classroom experience are more engaged and take more ownership of their learning environment.

In an effort to create an effective and reliable tool that makes it safe for teachers to experience relevant and actionable feedback from students, The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) created Colorado’s Student Perception Survey. The survey was developed with input from over 1,400 teachers throughout Colorado and is grounded in best practices for fair and equitable evaluation.

Colorado’s Student Perception Survey is a 34-question instrument for grades 3-5 and 6-12 that asks students about their classroom experience. The questions measure elements of student experience that most closely correlate to the professional practices that are demonstrated to improve student outcomes. In addition, the survey maps to Colorado’s Teacher Quality Standards; the results yield information about a teacher’s performance in each of the five standards relating to professional practice. The survey has the flexibility to be used as a formative tool or as a summative measure of teacher evaluation under Colorado’s education effectiveness law.

Students of all ages are able to provide helpful feedback about their classroom experiences for use by their teachers.  Colorado’s Student Perception Survey is currently developed for students in grades 3-12 to provide feedback to their teachers in order to improve practice and inform instruction.  CEI currently has no plans to develop a survey for students in kindergarten through grade 2 (K-2), as creating and properly administering a valid and reliable measure of student perceptions for high-stakes use in teacher evaluations is difficult generally, and especially difficult with regard to the very youngest students. If you are interested in using a K-2 survey please see our guidance document, Guidelines and Best Practices for Surveying Young Learners.

 Colorado’s Teacher Perception Survey

 CEI Contact

Sarah Duran, Research & Impact
The Colorado Education Initiative


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