(IDEA 97: Sec. 300.347(a)(2) Under Content of IEP:
"A statement of measurable annual goals, including benchmarks of
Also, there is a strong emphasis in Part B that the goals of the IEP will be attached to the general curriculum.)
IEP Process Guide, by Massachusetts Department of Education, (June 2001) pages 17 & 18:
"IEP 4 (page 18) - Goals must be measurable and must specify the expected knowledge, skill, behavior or attitude to be achieved within the IEP period, typically one school year."
View the Massachusetts Department of Education, slide presentation on IEP Measureable Goals (August 2005).
Massachusetts Department of Education, tells that a goal should have 3 key components (the 3rd components has 3 parts, giving us 5 componets same as Reed Martin):1. Skill Building
How to Develop an IEP That Measures Your Child's Progress
This article from Wrightslaw has some very helpful samples of measurable goals.
Kevin and Keyboarding
Let's look at an IEP goal where progress toward the goal is measured subjectively and objectively.
Our IEP goal says that "Kevin will learn keyboarding [or typing] skills."
If Kevin's progress toward this goal is measured subjectively,
IEP may state that Kevin’s progress toward learning keyboarding or
typing will be determined by "Teacher Judgment" or "Teacher
"Teacher - made Tests" with a score of "80%" as the criteria for success.
If the IEP is written properly, measuring progress objectively,
IEP may say "By the end of the first semester, Kevin will touch-type
a passage of text 15 words per minute with not more than 5 errors
on a 5
minute test. By the end of this academic year, Kevin will touch type a passage of text for 5 minutes at 35 words per minute with not more than 5 errors."
Megan and Reading
Let's look at Megan who is having trouble learning to read. Megan is in the fifth grade. According to educational achievement tests, her reading decoding skills are at the beginning second grade level. Megan's parents request special education services to remediated their daughter's reading problems. How will her parents know if Megan is benefiting from the special education program?
If Megan is being appropriately educated, her test scores in reading will begin to improve as she goes through the process of remediation. An appropriately written IEP should indicate that after a year of remediation, Megan will make progress toward closing the gap between her ability and her problems in reading, and that her educational progress will be measured objectively with educational achievement tests.
The IEP may state that after a year of specialized instruction
"Megan will be reading at the 4th grade level as measured by her scores
on the Reading subtests of the Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test."
next year, Megan's IEP should include more goals in reading - with the ultimate goal of closing the gap between Megan's ability and her reading skills.
Parents can use percentile ranks in the IEPs, instead of grade equivalent scores. Let's assume that Megan's reading test scores show that she is reading at the bottom 10th percentile, when compared to other children her age. After a year of appropriate special education, Megan probably will not be reading at the 50th percentile level (i.e. the "average" level for children her age). An objective may state that after a year of special education, "Megan will be reading at the 25th percentile level" If Megan moves to the 25th percentile level in reading, she be making progress toward closing the gap.
Although Megan's reading skills are still below average, you see that she is making steady progress. Megan's progress in reading is being measured objectively with standardized tests. Her progress is reported with numbers that can be compared over time.
List your child's weaknesses, i.e., writing, arithmetic, spelling, typing, etc.
Next, list your child's present levels of performance in objective measurable terms.
For example :
Present Levels: My child reads a passage of text orally at the XYZ grade equivalent level as measured by the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT).
My child is reading a passage of text orally at the XYZ percent level as measured by the GORT.
These examples apply to all disabilities—learning disabilities,
autism, speech language deficits, mental
retardation, cerebral palsy. You
need to know specifically where the child's deficits are, what skills
deficient, what behavior needs to be changed.
The starting point should be observable and measurable percentile ranks, grade equivalents, age equivalents or standard scores. Where should this skill be in one year later?
Use objective measurable terms, not subjective terms.
Write down a goal that your child should achieve after one year
an appropriate special education.
(Special education should be designed to remediated the child's weaknesses.)
By May 15, [one year later], my child will be able to read a passage of text orally at the XYZ [insert the appropriate increased level here] grade equivalent level as measured by the GORT.
By May 15, [one year later], my child will be able to read a passage of text orally at the XYZ [insert the appropriate increased level here] percent level as measured by the GORT.
Now, you have an objective measurable starting point and ending point, using norm referenced data. How do you get from Point A to Point B?
Your map from Point A to Point B includes short term objectives and/or benchmarks. To learn more about appropriate goals, objectives and benchmarks, you need to read publications about your child's specific disability. As you become more knowledgeable, you'll learn how to write objectives and benchmarks that lead to the annual goal.
Your Child's IEP Should Measure Learning - Objectively
Learning is change. Changes in academic skills can be measured objectively. Your child's test scores are like a series of photographs - they show that the child is learning and acquiring new skills or knowledge.
Remember: Change can and should be measured objectively - whether the area being measured is physical fitness, or educational progress.
Goal component checklist
The goals should
be what we expect of regular students. The IEP goals explains how
child gets from "here" to "there".
Reed Martin, tells that a goal should have 5 components:
1. The direction we want to go
(increase or decrease)
2. the problem we are addressing
3. the present level
4. the amount of change, by the end of this IEP year
5. the methodology needed
To bring in Wrightslaw information and state and federal regulations, we are going to add a 6th components.
6. Measured by (standardized test)
(2) in-seat on-task behavior
(3) from 0% of the time currently to
(4) 50% of the time by the end of this year
(5) by training the teacher in positive behavior interventions that give reinforcement to in-seat, on task behavior
and do not unintentionally reinforce Johnny by giving attention to out of seat behavior.
Another Reed's example:
(3) from overreacting emotionally to stimuli that are normal in the classroom
(4) to the ability to function with limited supervision in classroom settings
(5) through individual counseling and reinforcement of positive behaviors in the classroom
The IEP would then specify the short term objectives in terms of the task or performance expected conditions under which the performance is expected the standard by which it will be measured, how the performance will be documented and how the results will be reported to the parents.
Lets label the components of Megan Reading goal, that was used in the example Wrightslaw in their article:
(4b) By May 15, [one year later],
(1) my child will be able to, or Megan will increase her
(2) passage reading of text orally
(3) from UV percent level currently [insert the appropriate Present Level Of Performance (PLOP) here]
(4a) to the XYZ percent level [insert the appropriate increased level here]
(5) using the ABC program [insert the appropriate program here] (information on methodology, click here).
(6) as measured by the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT), (information on standardized tests, click here).
Wrightslaw's refer to SMART Goals:
Specific Measurable Action words Realistic and relevant Time limited
This information and samples are from "Your
Child's IEP: Practical and Legal Guidance for Parents"
written by Pamela Darr Wright, M.A., M.S.W. Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Peter W. D. Wright, Esq.
"Better IEPs: How to Develop Legally Correct & Educationally
also by Dr. Bateman, you can check it out on our Recommend Book page.
Check out this Minnesota University website, it address 4 area of importance:
1. direction of change
2. deficit or excess
3. present level of performance
4. the expected annual ending level of performance; and
5. resources needed to accomplish the expected level of performance.
Federal Reg., Section 300.347(a)(2)
Requires that each child's IEP include:
(Read Wrightslaw's Q&A on: Is There a Limit on IEP Goals? Long-Term Planning & Your Child's IEP)
Some school systems have posted examples of Goals and
(Special Education Goals and Objectives, from Nebraska, Educational Service Unit 10 (ESU-10) - No longer available 12/06)
Examples and Tips of Making IEP Annual Goals Measurable, from Wisconsin, Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 7 (CESA-7)
has over 4000 (no longer free 10/06) Goals and Objectives (IEP-ITP)
each with changeable benchmarks in California format
||One of our original webpages, created
September 10, 2002, by Melody Orfei
Webpage last modified on December 13, 2011 - V13, by Melody Orfei