Despite being the end of the school year my districts administration is already gearing up for the start of the 2012-2013 academic year. These past two days have been devoted to introducing and discussing Student Learning Objectives (SLO) . This big change is planned to take place at the beginning of the next school year. Therefore it has created a great deal of discussion among the district, especially within the SLP department, as such I felt like it was an important topic to discuss with you guys. The state of NY is still hammering out the details therefore the role of SLP’s in the use of SLO’s is still up in the air (along with other support staff i.e. guidance, counseling, OT & PT). The following post is meant to dispense the knowledge I have gained these days as well as spark some discussion/debate.
As it was explained by the district, SLO’s are meant to account for 20% of the newly revised APPR.
Basically, SLO’s are academic goals for a teacher’s students representing the most important learning for the semester or course. Components of an SLO include:
- Baseline performance data for each student
- Benchmarks to assess progress
- Growth goal targets.
SLOs are meant to be aligned to New York State’s Common Core, national or state standards. Teachers’ effectiveness scores for this component of their evaluation (20%) will be based upon the degree to which their goals are attained.
This shift toward SLO’s is a part of the new teacher rating outlined by the new APPR which is based on a 100 point system: 60% of points are based on classroom observation, 20% based on local assessments (that our district will provide as to establish a baseline for formulating SLO’s for the present school year) and 20% based on student growth (measured in the form of teacher tests, portfolios, student work etc.). When combined these percentages will result in the teacher receiving a HEDI rating (Highly Effective, Effective, Developing and Ineffective). It should be noted that teachers in grades 4-8 ELA and math do not have to do SLO’s as these teachers have a state measure in place already.
I do like that the evaluation system of the SLO is focused on student growth, not proficiency, and allows teachers to demonstrate student growth through various measures of student growth and achievement.
Fingers crossed that we in NY do not have to be held responsible for these student learning objectives, as we already have IEP's that outline our targets and serve to measure growth. I hope this post served to clarify any confusion or misunderstanding regarding SLO's!
It is way past my bedtime, 7 more wake-ups!