This video series is intended to help teachers develop Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) with the support of their administrators and includes all of the latest guidance, resources, and tools.
As with all of the videos in this series we will be using the Department’s SGO Quality Rating Rubric as a guiding framework. This two page rubric is a teaching tool that may be used by teachers and administrators in working towards producing high quality SGOs.
Remember, districts have a good deal of flexibility in developing SGOs that best suit their needs. However, there are certain requirements that must be met as well as best practices that educators should consider that add value to the SGO process.
Throughout this series of four videos, we will address three guiding principles of SGO development.
High quality SGOs should be:
Aligned to standards;
Grounded in data; and
Driven by high expectations for students.
In video one we will provide an introduction to the 5 step process of SGO and discuss the two essential features of aligning SGOs to instructional standards.
Video One: SGOs – Alignment to Standards
The Office of Evaluation has outlined a five step SGO process with accompanying dates, guidance and resources to help educators develop high quality SGOs.
Step One: Choose or develop a quality assessment aligned to New Jersey academic standards. This may be done at the end of the previous school year, over the summer or in the first few weeks of the new school year.
Step Two: Determine students' starting points. A variety of information can be collected from and about students during the first few weeks of the school year.
Step Three: Set ambitious and achievable SGOs with the approval of the principal/supervisor. The deadline for setting SGOs is October 31st but districts may choose to require this earlier than this.
Step Four: Track progress, refining instruction along the way. This is the longest step and occurs from the time the SGO is set until final data is collected for scoring purposes.
Step Five: Review results and score your SGO in consultation with your supervisor. This step will probably be completed before the end of the school year but districts have latitude to determine the best time to complete this.
It is important to note that this time frame, or aspects of it, may be modified for teachers on semester-based courses, those who teach cycle classes, those who spend a portion of the school year on maternity leave, or for those in other situations which may not align with the typical school calendar year.
Step 1 of the SGO process requires educators to choose or develop assessments that are aligned to New Jersey's academic standards. Since May 2016, these standards are known as New Jersey Student Learning Standards. In aligning SGO assessments to these standards, the SGO Quality Rating Rubric identifies the following two qualities in excellent SGOs; that SGOs include all or most standards for which the teacher is responsible and second, that there is good rationale to emphasize those standards that have lasting impact on student development.
Taking each of these one at a time,
First: SGOs include all or most of standards for which the teacher is responsible during the instructional period.
This can be done by first:
Determining the instructional goals of the district, school, and content and/or grade level, and then determining which standards must be taught to meet these goals.
From there teachers should identify the standards normally taught during the SGO instructional period.
Second: once the standards that must be taught have been identified, the teacher should articulate how the selected standards are critical to enduring understanding of the subject area, success in future classes and readiness in college, career, and life and which of these are most important to teach during the SGO timeframe.
Making these decisions at the beginning of the SGO process will allow teachers to plan better for the upcoming year and develop a high quality assessment that is appropriately weighted to take into account instructional priorities.
In making decisions on critical standards educators must consider the following
Will the chosen standard lead to an enduring understanding of the subject matter,
Is the standard important for future classes or courses in school?
Or is this particular standard important for success in college, career and life in general.
Often those standards that have lasting impact on the development of a student will be those that teachers emphasize in their classes. This should be reflected in the teacher's SGOs and the assessments they use to determine how much their students know and can do.
At the simplest level, assessments should cover all of the standards that students have been taught in a given time frame but a high quality assessment will be weighted to emphasize the most important standards as just discussed.
The graphic here shows one example of how this might be done for grade 6 reading literature standards. The standards are organized into three groups and the number of assessment items and weighted scores of these items will be reflected in the design of the assessment.
From there, teachers must align their assessments to the identified standards:
Prioritizing them according to importance, while
Weighting the assessment according to the importance of each standard.
More information about assessment design can be found in video two of this series Further information about all of the information shown in this video please visit the Office of Evaluation’s SGO page, where the SGO guidebook, SGO exemplars, and the SGO 2.1 PowerPoint can be found.
Now let's visit a 6th grade ELA team who are examining data from 5th grade performance tasks to assist in identifying their priority standards for the 6th grade SGO.