Winter Park, Fla. — May 2, 2013 — Over the last 15 years, Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) have gained tremendous momentum in K-12 education. In several states, including Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio, these measurable instructional goals for students are now being used in teacher evaluations as well. To help state and district leaders develop a coherent infrastructure to manage, administer and report SLOs, Performance Matters™ today announces the publication of a new white paper titled, “Technology Considerations for a Successful Student Learning Objectives Program.”

In the paper, author Kimberly Fleming, Ph.D., discusses SLOs, infrastructure requirements, and recommendations to prepare for a full-scale SLO implementation. Fleming is president and founder of Core Education, LLC, an educational consulting firm focused on educator effectiveness.

“Most states and districts place a great deal of emphasis on the development of SLOs,” said Fleming. “However, little emphasis is typically given to building the technology infrastructure to support the SLO implementation, or to managing crucial tasks that must be accomplished for thousands or tens of thousands of SLOs to be implemented with fidelity. As more states turn to SLOs to measure student growth and use the results to calculate effectiveness ratings for educators, there is a rapidly growing need for technology tools that can help educators streamline the SLO process.”

One such tool is the new SLO Module from Performance Matters. The module is available as a stand-alone product, or may be integrated with the company’s web-based assessment and data management system or FASTe (Formative Action System for Teacher Effectiveness).

Using the SLO Module, districts can easily create, manage and monitor SLOs. Educators can build or select the SLO assessment, choose the growth algorithm, and set the target score for each student or group. Educators can then access the results from the pre- and post-assessments under each SLO. With the tool’s automatic calculations, they can easily see whether or not each student met the SLO, as well as the overall percentage of students achieving the SLO by class or by course. The SLO Module ensures accurate mathematical calculations, which can be used to group educators into the appropriate ratings category — such as Highly Effective, Effective, Developing, or Ineffective — on the SLO portion of their annual performance reviews.

“SLOs hold great promise for improving student achievement and focusing educator growth,” said Fleming. “They provide an opportunity for educators to participate in their own evaluations and for student growth to be incorporated into educator evaluations in non-tested grades and subjects. To support a successful SLO initiative, it is critical that state and district leaders develop a robust technology platform and data infrastructure that can support their information management needs while maximizing staff time and resources.”

To order a free copy of the white paper, visit https://www9.performancematters.com/?page_id=1308

About Performance Matters
Performance Matters helps K-12 school systems improve student learning by providing comprehensive, integrated solutions for assessment, data management and teacher effectiveness. Based in Winter Park, Fla., Performance Matters’ solutions are used by school districts across the country. For more information, visit www.performancematters.com or call 407-645-1800.
###

About the Author:

Carletta