Thursday, March 6, 2014

How States Use Student Learning Objectives in Teacher Evaluation Systems

This report provides an overview of how states define and apply student learning objectives (SLOs) in evaluation systems. The research team conducted a systematic scan of state policies by searching state education agency websites of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. to identify tools, guidance, policies, regulations, and other documents related to the use of SLOs in teacher evaluation systems. The researchers reviewed each relevant document to code the requirements, components, and uses of SLOs, which are summarized in a brief report and a series of searchable tables.

The study found that among the 30 states using SLOse:

•    Most require SLOs to be measurable and based on student growth and achievement.

•    States vary by whether they apply SLOs at the school, team, or individual teacher level and by which teachers and students are included.

•    State SLO policies differ in whether and how achievement targets are set, which assessments are used, and how SLO processes are approved.

The report includes searchable tables with detailed information on the characteristics and use of SLOs in the 30 states that had publicly available information on their SLO policies.

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