Student Learning Goals/Objectives Overview

Effective teachers and leaders are among the most important school-level factor in improving student learning, and effective leadership is an essential component of any successful school (McCaffrey, Lockwood, Koretz, & Hamilton, 2003; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2000; Rowan, Correnti & Miller, 2002; Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997).

Administrator Student Learning Goals/Objectives

The Student Learning Goal/Objective in the administrator evaluation and support system draws on available data, the superintendent’s priorities, their school improvement plan and prior evaluation results (where applicable). The goals/objectives capture the administrator’s impact on student learning and focus on the outcomes they want to achieve.

The Student Learning Goal/Objective is more than a statement of expectations. Through well-designed Student Learning Goals/Objectives, a leader can drive the improvement of instructional practices at the school or program level thereby improving student learning at scale. Student Learning Goals/Objectives should provide the focus for concerted actions between administrators and teachers. The administrator as instructional leader utilizes meeting times, local and external expertise, data discussions with teams or departments and other strategies and resources to focus the instructional practices of teachers on student learning priorities.

Teacher Student Learning Goals/Objectives

The Student Learning Goal/Objective in the teacher evaluation and support system is a carefully planned, broad academic goal that a teacher sets at the beginning of the year for all students or subgroups of students and is informed by available data. It is measured by Indicators of Academic Growth and Development (IAGDs), which include specific targets for student learning and expected outcomes over an entire course or year of instruction.

Each teacher, through mutual agreement with his/her evaluator, will select at least 1 but no more than 4 goals/objectives for student growth, the exact number based on a consideration of a reasonable number of goals/objectives taking into account teaching responsibilities and teacher experience.

A Student Learning Goal/Objective, when used in teacher evaluation, typically covers the entire course of instruction rather than a single unit, reflects high expectations for student learning or improvement and aims for mastery of content or skill development. At the end of the year or course, the teacher meets with his or her evaluator to discuss attainment of the IAGDs and determine the teacher’s impact on student learning.

The Process for Setting Student Learning Goals/Objectives

The process begins before the start of the new school year with the superintendent identifying the instructional priorities for the district, which informs the instructional priorities of each school and thus informs the administrator’s student learning priorities. Teacher then examine their own student data and set goals to address the learning priorities identified by their administrators.

SLO four phase work process