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 Student Learning Objectives

A vital component of the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System is Student Growth and Academic Achievement. For teachers of tested subjects, this component consists of a student growth percentile measure. Tested subjects include reading, English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies for grades 4-8 and all high school courses for which there is an End-of-Course Test (EOCT).

Non-tested subjects include all courses not listed as tested subjects. Approximately 70-75% of all teachers teach non-tested subjects for at least some portion of the instructional day. For teachers of non-tested subjects, this component consists of the Georgia Department of Education approved Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) utilizing district-identified achievement growth measures.

Student Learning Objective Overview 

What is a Student Learning Objective (SLO)?

A vital component of the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System is Student Growth and Academic Achievement. For teachers of tested subjects, this component consists of a student growth percentile measure. Tested subjects include reading, English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies for grades 4-8 and all high school courses for which there is an End-of-Course Test (EOCT).

Non-tested subjects include all courses not listed as tested subjects. Approximately 70-75% of all teachers teach non-tested subjects for at least some portion of the instructional day. For teachers of non-tested subjects, this component consists of the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE)-approved Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) utilizing district-identified achievement growth measures.

District determined SLOs are content-specific, grade level learning objectives that are measureable, focused on growth in student learning, and aligned to curriculum standards. As a measure of teachers’ impact on student learning, SLOs give educators, school systems, and state leaders an additional means by which to understand, value, and recognize success in the classroom.

Purpose of SLOs

The primary purpose of SLOs is to improve student achievement at the classroom level. An equally important purpose of SLOs is to provide evidence of each teacher’s instructional impact on student learning. The process of setting and using SLOs requires teachers to use assessments to measure student growth. This allows teachers to plan for student success by ensuring that every minute of instruction is moving students, teachers, and schools toward the common vision of exemplary instruction and high levels of student academic growth.

Essential SLO Components

Focus on student learning

By focusing on student learning, SLOs help teachers, principals, and districts pay close attention to the annual academic progress made by students (particularly those in non-tested subjects and grade levels). District-determined objectives are set using baseline data and are written with the expectation that student learning in each classroom will be measured against baseline data. Only those topics that clearly state expectations for student learning growth are to be included in objective setting. A teacher’s professional growth objectives are not to be included.

Aligned with curriculum standards

SLOs must correlate with the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS), Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS), or other national standards for the course being taught. District-selected standards should warrant the year-long or course-long focus of the students and teachers. They should be rigorous, measureable, and should deepen and extend knowledge for all students in the class/group/course. Each SLO must specify the exact course, subject, grade level, and set of standards for which it was designed.

Interval of instructional time

The interval of instruction is the length of time during which the SLO will be completed. Districts should determine the pre and post-assessment administration windows for each SLO. The majority of SLOs should be written for the entire length of the course being taught. However, the nature of specific courses may require that the pre-assessment not be given at the very first of the instructional period but should be administered a short time into the instructional period. For example, in a beginning band class, students may need to learn to position and use their instruments before the progress on music standards can be pre assessed. For the majority of teachers, the instructional period is the full academic year. However, for teachers with courses that span only part of the academic, year, the instructional period will be the duration of that course, (e.g., a semester). The interval cannot change once approved.

Scope of SLOs

It is a district decision as to whether the SLO comprehensively addresses all standards taught in each course or if it addresses a prioritized set of standards. If a district chooses a set of prioritized standards, teachers are expected to address the entire curriculum and not exclude standards not assessed in the SLO.

Measureable objective

A measureable objective is one that quantifies growth in student learning, typically based upon the results of administration of pre- and post-assessments. Pre and post assessment scores are reported for each student in each teacher’s class.

Assessments and measures

An assessment is the instrument used to measure student learning of the objectives chosen. Each SLO must have a pre-assessment and post-assessment measure. Appropriate measures of student learning gains differ substantially based on the learners’ grade level, content area, and ability level. Therefore the type and format of assessments will vary based on the standards to be measured. Careful attention must be paid to how progress in relation to a given set of standards can most effectively be measured.

Integrity of SLO process and results

Opportunities to misrepresent student data or inappropriate interactions with students to affect pre and post-assessment results may be minimized by:

1- The use of signed assurances (SLO Manual - Appendix A)

2- On-going, systematic triangulation of formal and informal data by administrators/evaluators (observations, report card grades, tests, walk-throughs, documentation of teacher work). SLO data should be somewhat consistent with other student data.

3- Collaborative planning of groups of teachers around SLOs results/implementation

4- Utilization of Georgia Public Domain SLOs and assessments

5- Use of electronic item bank (under development)

6- Use of interchangeable passages, scenarios, numbers, etc. in assessment items

7- Increased use of performance tasks

8- Checking for inter-rater reliability of ratings; employ the use of sampling to ensure consistency of raters

Student Learning Objectives Resources

2013 Student Learning Objectives Operations Manual

SLO Measures - Frequently Asked Questions 2013

SLOs for Teachers - Frequently Asked Questions 2013

Pre-K SLOs - Frequently Asked Questions 2013

SLOs for Collaborative and CTEA Teachers - Frequently Asked Questions 2013

SLO Roles and Responsibilities 2013

Addressing SLO Challenges and Concerns 2013

Superintendent's Reference Guide to TKES and LKES

SLO: A Guide for District Leaders 2013-2014

SLO: A Guide for Principals 2013-2014

SLO: A Guide for Teachers 2013-2014

Student Learning Objectives Tools

2013-2014 List of Courses with Assessment Support

2013 SLO Template for Districts and Teachers

2013-2014 SLO Statement Example

Teacher Data Submission Form