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ERIC Number: ED561236
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 38
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
A Descriptive Study of the Pilot Implementation of Student Learning Objectives in Arizona and Utah. REL 2016-102
Makkonen, Reino; Tejwani, Jaclyn; Rodriguez, Fernando, Jr.
Regional Educational Laboratory West
Approximately 30 states are now adopting teacher evaluation policies that include student learning objectives (SLOs), which are classroom-specific student test growth targets set by teachers and approved (and scored) by principals. Today state and district leaders are trying to determine the appropriate level of guidance and oversight to provide in support of this work. This study describes results of the pilot implementation of SLOs in two states--Arizona (with 363 teachers) and Utah (with 82 teachers)--that were implementing SLOs with the same aims: to positively affect student achievement and to fulfill the state's required student-accountability component for teacher evaluations. Findings indicated that, in their SLOs, Arizona teachers tended to target student proficiency growth on vendor-developed tests, without including any specifics about instructional strategies, while Utah's pilot teachers (over half of them special education teachers) tended to define their own SLO-focused instructional strategies and/or use their own classroom-level tests or rubrics, with goals geared toward students demonstrating knowledge (through project completion) or a physical skill. Arizona teachers' end-of-year SLO scores from their principals varied, distinguishing high- and low-performing teachers, and teachers with higher SLO scores were also rated higher on classroom observations and student surveys. Conversely, SLO scores varied little in Utah's pilot, with 89 percent of teachers "meeting expectations." (Utah's pilot teachers were not rated on other measures.) On end-of-year surveys, Utah pilot teachers generally perceived the SLO process as worthwhile and beneficial to their students and to their own professional growth; however, they did not perceive the SLO pilot as positively affecting their instruction or their knowledge of effective ways to assess students. (A low response rate precluded parallel survey analysis in Arizona.) Appended are: (1) Data and methodology; (2) Correlations between Arizona teacher measures, by grade span; and (3) Response frequencies for Utah's pilot teacher survey.
Regional Educational Laboratory West. Available from: Institute of Education Sciences. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20208. Tel: 800-872-5327; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory West (ED); WestEd; National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Utah
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0002