According to the NJDOE, “Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) are academic goals for groups of students that are aligned to state standards and can be tracked using objective measures.”
SGOs should be developed using a comprehensive collection of available student data, and created to be rigorous, yet attainable. Assessments used to measure SGOs can include national standardized tests; statewide assessments; or locally-developed measures such as tests, performance tasks, portfolios, etc.
NJDOE requires that teachers of non-tested content areas/grades create and implement a minimum of one and maximum of two SGOs with the approval of the administrator(s).
The SGO process should be as collaborative as possible between teachers, their colleagues, and their administrators. As final assessments are given in the current school year, teachers and administrators should consider how such assessments might be used for SGOs during the next school year. Preparation for writing SGOs can begin in advance of the school year. However, individual SGOs should be developed by teachers only when they have access to specific learning data about their assigned students, typically for semester or year-long courses in late
September or early October
What is a SMART objective?
SMART SGOs should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-driven, and Timely. The following criteria characterize a solidly constructed SGO:
• Simplistically written, clearly identifying the target population as well as the specific content area and applicable standard(s).
• Quantifiably measurable based upon concrete criteria for assessing progress toward achieving the expected growth in attaining the objective.
• Reasonably challenging given the knowledge, skills, and abilities of both the teacher and the students.
• Specifically focused on significant targeted outcomes rather than learning tasks.
• Reasonably organized in a timeframe allowing for appropriately scheduled formative assessments. What types of SGOs can be drafted by a teacher?
(optionally tiered) Specific
Focus on entire student population for a given course. Usually targets entire course curriculum.
Focus on a subgroup of students that need specific support.
Focus on specific skills or content that students must master to be successful.
Targets every student in a US History II class.
Aligned comprehensively with local course standards. Targets students scoring below 45% on the
English I pre-test.
Targets every student in Algebra I who must master 80% of Common Core Standards on
Quadratic Functions and Modeling.
What are the steps for creating an SGO?
Unless baseline data is available from other sources such as standardized tests or cumulative portfolios, teachers will administer a standards-aligned pre-assessment to students before drafting their SGO. By understanding their students’ “starting points” through academic data, teachers will be able to create SGOs specific to their students’ needs and preparation levels.
This tailored approach is one of the great assets of the SGO process. While addressing specific classes/sections or students, individual SGOs also need to take into account departmental, school/district goals.
STEP 1: Identify the LEARNING CONTENT
• What district expectations are in place for choosing SLO learning content?
• Does the selected learning content represent the entire course's content? Does the content selected represent essential knowledge and skills that will endure beyond a single test date, be of value in other disciplines, and/or necessary for the next level instruction? STEP 2: Choose PRIORITY STANDARDS, CONTENT or SKILLS
• What is the source of standards for the content area (NJCCCS, Math or ELA Common
Core Standards, NGSS, NETS, etc)? Which learning standards will be prioritized based on district/school initiatives and needs?
• What is the starting level