AchieveNJ for Teachers
Student Growth Objectives
Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can teachers who instruct in semester blocks or nine-week cycles set SGOs?
A: These teachers should set SGOs as early in the semester as possible. If the instructional period is less than nine weeks (e.g. 30-day cycles), teachers should set goals for several of these short cycles and then aggregate performance on these goals into their SGOs when possible.
Q: How should SGOs be handled for a teacher on a leave of absence or otherwise away from teaching for a period of time?
A: Teachers should be present for at least a nine-week continuous period of time during the year to set an SGO. A teacher who has not set an SGO before the November 15 deadline due to an extended leave should set an SGO as early as possible after his or her return to the classroom.
Q: I am a school counselor. Do I need to set SGOs? Do you have exemplars for SGOs for that I could take a look at?
A: SGOs are not required for school counselors, but only for teachers with an assigned class roster. Educational specialists such as academic coaches, CST professionals, librarians/media specialists, paraprofessionals, athletic trainers, health workers and counselors, etc. may set SGOs at the discretion of local district leadership. However, the Department encourages all educators to set SGOs to help improve their performance by goal setting. Office of Evaluation staff members have worked with several professional organizations that represent these educational specialists to develop SGO samples that may be useful reference documents. Please contact your professional organization for these samples.
Q: I teach Special Education. How will my SGOs be different than a general education teacher's?
A: Like a general education teacher, your SGO should be tailored to meet the needs of your students. As much as possible, your SGOs should encompass the curriculum and students for which you are responsible. The IEPs of the students you teach contain added guidance to help you provide the type of instructional support that will help your students succeed. You may use this guidance to help inform your SGOs. For example, you may set an SGO that includes standards for reading comprehension. The IEP of a student may include strategies to improve the comprehension skills that the individual student has not yet learned. In this case, the IEP and SGO for that student are aligned.
Q: Are teachers required to use a pre-assessment?
A: No. Pre-assessments may be used to collect baseline data, but there are several other ways to determine students' starting points as mentioned in the preceding question. Additionally, unless they are carefully constructed, pre-assessments may not provide the type of information that will be useful for setting appropriate goals. For instance, a pre-assessment that is identical to a post-assessment may be so challenging for students that most score very poorly and some become discouraged by their test performance early in the school year. Additionally, a pre-assessment on content in a subject area to which students have never been exposed (e.g. German 1) may provide little useful information. At the beginning of the school year, it may be challenging to motivate students to do their best on a pre-assessment. However, some teachers are using carefully crafted and rigorous pre-assessments effectively and have worked to overcome some of the problems associated with pre-assessments noted above. In consultation with their supervisors, these teachers may opt to continue using such pre-assessments.
Assessing and Adjusting SGOs (Word | PDF)
Document describing the value of assessing submitted SGOs for quality and making adjustments as needed before the February 15th deadline. Includes a suggested method for inspecting SGO quality.
SGO Quality Assessment Presentation (PowerPoint | PDF)
Presentation that can be used to assist a team that is assessing SGO quality. Describes the components of a high quality SGO with SGO samples of varying quality.
These four computer-based training modules have been developed to help teachers in small groups or individually work through each step of the SGO process.
This document is an in-depth "how-to" guide for setting SGOs. It contains useful forms in an appendix. These forms are also available through links below in the "What are some other SGO resources?" section.
These SGOs have been developed with the help of New Jersey's educators. They are provided as a resource to help teachers develop SGOs for their own classes. The annotated SGOs contain a line-by-line analysis of the sample to show the strengths and weaknesses of the SGO.
CTE architecture engineering general annotated SGO (PDF)
CTE architecture engineering general SGO (PDF)
ELA grade 1 DRA2 tiered general annotated SGO (PDF)
ELA grade 1 DRA2 tiered general SGO (PDF)
ELA Reading grade 11 simple general annotated (PDF)
ELA Reading grade 11 simple general (PDF)
Social studies grade 8 tiered general annotated SGO (PDF)
Social studies grade 8 tiered general SGO (PDF)
Math grade 8 tiered specific annotated (PDF)
Math grade 8 tiered specific (PDF)
Physics simple general (PDF)
Physics tiered general (PDF)
Algebra-based Physics tiered general annotated (PDF)
Algebra-based Physics tiered general (PDF)
OTHER SGO PRESENTATIONS AND DOCUMENTS
SGO Quick Start Guide
This is a two page version of the SGO guidebook that could be used as a reference, or for those familiar with the SGO process.
AchieveNJ Student Growth Objective (SGO) Overview
This succinct two page document outlines SGOs and their place in educator evaluation.
AchieveNJ SGO Overview Presentation
This PowerPoint presentation can be used to introduce SGOs to large groups.
SGO Assessment Inventory
This Excel spreadsheet offers a template for listing all available assessments for potential use for SGOs.
The NJDOE has made these forms available for districts to use at their discretion. Descriptions of them and how they might be used can be found in the SGO guidebook. Their use is not required.
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 1.1 Pre-approval for School-based Assessments (PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 1.2 Standards Alignment and Coverage Check (PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 1.3 Assessment Rigor Analysis and Depth of Knowledge (PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 1.4 Approval Checklist for School-based Assessments (PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 1.5 Planning Guide for Choosing or Developing a Quality Assessment
(PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 2.1 Identify and Approve Starting Points (PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 3.1 Student Growth Objective Form (Simple) (PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 3.2 Student Growth Objective Form (Tiered) (PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 3.3 Student Growth Objective Form (Tiered, Weighted Average)
(PDF | Word)
- AchieveNJ SGO Form 4.1 Mid-course Check In (PDF | Word)
What are SGOs?
Student Growth Objectives are long-term academic goals that teachers set for their students in the first few weeks of the school year. These objectives are aligned to state standards and are set using available student learning data. Teachers use appropriate national, state, or district-developed assessments to measure how well their students meet the goals they have set for them. For the 2013-14 school year teachers of tested grades and subjects must create 1-2 SGOs. Teachers of non-tested grades and subjects must create 2 SGOs.
SGOs (or Student Learning Objectives/SLOs) have been in use in many states and districts for the past 14 years. The following studies and resources offer more information about the implementation of SGOs across the country:
- Community Training and Assistance Center Report: It's More Than Money (Feb 2013) – study of Student Learning Objective (SLO) implementation starting in 2008 in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS)
- Regional Educational Library at EDC: Overview of Student Learning Objectives: Review of the Literature
- Reform Support Network (RSN) Targeting Growth: Using Student Learning Objectives as a Measure of Educator Effectiveness
- Reform Support Network (RSN) Quality Control Toolkit for Student Learning Objectives