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Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL)


CDE's educator identifier system links student data to educators for the purposes of:

  1. Improving instruction;
  2. Informing and increasing educator effectiveness; and
  3. Supporting the continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

These three elements comprise the core components of the state's performance management system. As such, the educator identifier system serves as a foundational data infrastructure to support and inform the state's performance management system.

Educator Identifier System: Teacher/Student Data Link as a Foundation for Improving Educator Effectiveness

As the Colorado Department of Education works to implement strategies around improving educator effectiveness, a crucial component lays in developing a reliable and accurate teacher/student data link to ensure data-driven efforts. This link enables the state to connect students with the educators responsible for their learning. The aim is for the system to provide dynamic data that enables users to learn from the past and understand the present so that they can take appropriate actions to impact the future.

Once the data link is established statewide districts will be able to answer such questions as:

  • How are the students in X's class performing?
  • How are the students of novice teachers in the school performing? How does this compare to the students of experienced teachers?
  • What educator preparation programs are producing the most effective educators based on student performance?

Educators will be able to see how they contributed to student growth in prior years, how they are currently helping students grow, and what their projected performance might look like.

In order to achieve an accurate student data link other components must be implemented. Some of these components evolve into data systems, definitions, or business processes. Below are the major components of the project that, once implemented, will allow the Educator Identifier to be successful.

  • Assignment of Educator Identifiers
  • Integration with Licensure Database
  • Teacher/Student Data Link
  • Roster Verification
  • Educator of Record
  • Standard Course Codes

Benefits of Linking the Data

The educator identifier has many uses all of which bring benefits to the users. In addition, the system allows users to learn from each other by enabling comparisons and conversations across like districts, schools, subject areas, educator groups, student groups, educator preparation programs, etc. While some districts may already have the ability to connect their students and educator data, they do not have the ability to compare their data with others. The statewide educator identifier system allows for this important benchmarking and learning to occur. And, for those districts that do not have the ability to connect their student and educator data, the statewide system provides this data infrastructure to them.

Contact: Peter Hoffman at