Goals & Data Collection

Goals & Data Collection

What does special education law say about goals?

IDEA 2004 says that IEPs must include a statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals that are designed to meet the student’s needs resulting from their disability to enable the student to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum.

Consider the following when determining student IEP goals in order to comply with the intent of special education law as well as best practice.

Goals are -  

1. Determined by the team:

·         Teams collaborate to consider what will make the biggest difference for the student

·         Include parent and student input

·         Developed with consideration of the vision statements

·         Meaningful to the student, teacher, parent

2. Measurable:

·         Contains 1) target behavior, 2) condition, and 3) criteria,

·         Feasible data collection system in place to measure student progress toward goal

·         Clear, jargon-free, anyone can understand what the goal is measuring

·         Observable, anyone can observe whether or not the student has achieved the goal

·         Attainable, reasonable expectation that goal can be achieved in one IEP year

3. Educationally Relevant & Participation-based:

·         Relevant and necessary for participation in the educational program

·         Address critical academic and functional needs

·         Describes behavior in terms of students participation in content of the school day (rather than the underlying medical, physical, or performance component skills in isolation)

·         Addresses how the disability affects progress in the general curriculum and other aspects of school life (information from team evaluations)

·         Critical academic or functional skills, prioritized based on student needs and what is essential to participation in general curriculum

·         Student-based (not discipline-specific), written to reflect what the student will do (not what the staff will do or what service will be provided).

Tips for goal-writing

Develop goals and data collection systems together – this helps to ensure that the goal is truly measurable – if you are unable to come up with a feasible data collection system, then the goal is not measurable, tweak the goal and try again.

Begin with one student, one goal, one teacher, one meeting and move toward goals that meet the standards described above.

When writing interdisciplinary goals be sure to identify who is responsible for  implementing the goal,  taking data,  gathering and analyzing data, and  writing the progress report


How many schools do you cover?

one - 9.7%
two - 32.3%
three - 25.8%
four - 12.9%
five or more - 19.4%

Total votes: 31
The voting for this poll has ended on: November 17, 2013

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