After the department meetings today, it is obvious that we need more clarification on SGO’s and the process for developing them. The following is a brief clarification based upon the DOE’s Achieve NJ materials – http://www.state.nj.us/education/AchieveNJ/teacher/objectives.shtml
When developing an SGO, it is helpful to think beyond pre-test / post-test types of objectives. While it is possible to use this configuration, it is often difficult to show meaningful growth with just these two snapshots. The DOE makes the following recommendations for SGO’s.
Notice that nothing is said about departmental benchmarks or final exams. While these may be used, there is a degree of finality to them. In other words, you have little room to recover if these are used as your final SGO measurement. Instead, consider a variety of measures to show student growth:
While more time consuming, portfolio and performance assessments will allow you to generate deeper and better differentiated artifacts of student growth. Teacher generated tests, especially multiple choice ones (see page 8), often don’t measure as specifically as we think, particularly if the questions have not been tested and refined over multiple administrations.
There were also questions regarding the timeline for implementation. The DOE’s stated timeline is:
As stated in the DOE’s materials, SGO’s must be set by November 15th with approval occurring after this date. A date of September 30th was discussed during the DEAC meetings but no decisions were made around this date.
The DOE is operating under the assumption that a robust curriculum is in place which is not necessarily true. In some cases, the curriculum is simply a collection of benchmarks, meaning that there is significantly more work required when developing an SGO. In seeing the depth of this process and in light of the fact that there has been a dearth of training provided, CamVoc will be advocating that the district adhere to the timeline as directed by the DOE.
CamVoc has coordinated with the district to provide a 2 hour SGO training during the October 23rd inservice.
We will discuss the specific types of SGO’s in a future blog post. Stay tuned.