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Bonnie Walters

Director, Evaluation Center Senior Instructor, Teacher Education

My Story:

After spending 30 years in public education, I am currently the Director of The Evaluation Center in the School of Education & Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver. A native of Colorado, I began my teaching career in Alamosa, Colorado as an elementary teacher teaching in the same school I attended as a child. Since that time, I have been blessed with opportunities to view public education from a variety of perspectives. I spent six years as a classroom teacher; one year at the Colorado Department of Education, five years in central office positions in Boulder Valley Public Schools and Denver Public Schools, five years as Associate Director of the Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal, and eighteen years as a building principal at all three levels. I have been here at the University for almost 4 years.

Every experience deepened my commitment to finding more equitable practices in our public schools. Equal access to a quality education for all children remains a top priority on my list of things worth fighting for. I do believe our schools can be inclusive, rigorous, engaging, personalized and democratic in principles and practice. The work in The Evaluation Center gives me yet another way of examining these principles and practices as we evaluate programs and practices implemented in our public schools. It is my intention that the evaluation work we do will ultimately impact the quality of programs and practices and inform educational policy.

My Work at the University of Colorado Denver:

The Evaluation Center is currently under contract to evaluate three National Science Foundation math and science initiatives providing professional development for middle school teachers; one teacher education program; a professional development program for improving literacy skills K-12; a teachers pay for performance program; a small schools initiative; a youth workforce development program; a College of Nursing; and a major initiative that is slated to transform medical research, education and practice in the State of Colorado. Each of these projects in some way addresses issues of equal access.

Classes I teach:

Although not an official course, The Evaluation Center provides paid internships to graduate students who want to apply their newly acquired knowledge of evaluation to real evaluation projects. I also have the good fortune of being able to stay connected to teachers and public schools by teaching IPTE 5130/4130: Democratic Schooling: Issues of Law and Ethics.

Research Interests:

  • Structural Violence
  • Research on Evaluation
  • New methods of evaluating program effectiveness/fidelity of implementation

My Hobbies:

While I would call them more than a hobby, my two West Highland Terriers provide me with live entertainment regularly. I love the outdoors so I spend as much time as possible at my cabin down in the San Luis Valley or along a river or stream fly fishing. Travel, good books, great wine and good friends are important to me as well. I also enjoy golf although I often am heard to utter an expletive and this quote "golf, a beautiful walk in the woods spoiled by a little white ball".

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