Professors discover that using Goalbook helps teachers provide access to rigorous curriculum

Palo Alto, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2014) – When special education teachers write learning goals for their students, measurable details are important, but often hard to identify. According to a recent study by San Francisco State University (SFSU), Goalbook helps ensure a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is aligned to standards and differentiated according to the student’s unique needs.

Dr. Susan J. Courey, professor of special education at SFSU, along with faculty member Dr. Phyllis M. Tappe, conducted the study to help their student teachers develop more personalized learning goals for their students.

“Adopting Common Core standards is uniquely challenging for special education teachers. Our job is to identify learning objectives that meet each student’s needs while maintaining academic rigor,” said Courey. “A clearly defined IEP is so important to students with special needs, and actionable goals are a vital part of that plan.”

The professors developed a research-based rubric and evaluated the goals written by their students, assigning each a score on a 20-point scale.

The goals developed using Goalbook as a resource scored an average of 17.5, compared to an average score of 5.0 for goals developed without Goalbook. In other words, goals written with the support of Goalbook contained two and a half times more information for planning and measuring an individual student’s success.

“We thought Goalbook would have a positive effect, but the results were phenomenal. Providing teachers with supports that suggest ideas for dealing with ability gaps helped our student teachers to significantly improve their ability to write effective IEP goals,” said Tappe. “The quality of resources, ease-of-use, and relation to the Common Core State Standards are the keys to Goalbook’s success.”

Goalbook’s online platform helps teachers design learning objectives aligned to research-based frameworks, including Universal Design for Learning, and provides a repertoire of instructional strategies aimed at providing all students access to the general curriculum.

“Research has proven over the decades that teachers are the most important school-based factor that impacts student learning,” said Daniel Jhin Yoo, co-founder and CEO of Goalbook. “However, the attrition rate for special education teachers in our schools outpaces that of any other teaching professional. Goalbook is designed to empower special educators by supporting their critical work in designing personalized learning goals and scaffolding instruction so that all students can reach their full potential.”

“Goalbook is a unique resource,” affirms Courey. “It provides a rich collection of resources for teachers, assuring that all students have access to the general education curriculum, which will better equip them with the skills they need to succeed in college and their careers.”

For more information about Goalbook, visit them online at

About Goalbook

Goalbook’s mission is to improve student outcomes by empowering teachers to transform personalized instruction in the classroom. Goalbook offers a holistic solution for teacher development and support, integrating innovative technology, professional development, and leading pedagogical research into its online platform. The team works closely with district partners on tailored implementation and professional development plans. Founded by former teachers and administrators, Daniel Jhin Yoo and Justin Su, Goalbook partners with over 200 district customers in 40 states. Goalbook was part of ImagineK12’s inaugural class and the first company funded through New Schools Venture Fund’s Seed Fund. Learn more at

About San Francisco State University

Founded in 1899, San Francisco State University today is a globally focused community of more than 30,000 students, faculty and staff. In a region known for innovation, creativity and progressive thinking, San Francisco State University is the intellectual heart and soul of the surrounding city. Acknowledged as a leader in community service learning, the liberal arts and international education, SF State is also a major civic force, partnering with government, business and educational leaders to advance both the University and the region.

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