education-slos

Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)

States and school districts across the country are embracing Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) as a key component of new teacher and principal evaluation and performance-based compensation systems. Planned and implemented effectively, SLOs go beyond performance measurement alone—helping drive learning by strengthening instruction.

CTAC introduced SLOs nationally as part of a groundbreaking reform in the Denver Public Schools. As the nation’s leading SLO practitioner, trainer and evaluator for more than 15 years, the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC) is uniquely qualified to help you implement SLOs to their greatest effect.

Supporting your success

CTAC’s SLO Support Center helps ensure your success by addressing a range of critical factors:

SLO Cycle

CTAC builds your capacity in all four phases of the SLO cycle:

  • Preparation to address pivotal planning decisions, design the SLO structures, and develop training and rollout strategies.
  • Development to train school personnel and craft SLOs.
  • Implementation to monitor student and teacher progress, strengthen teaching practices and increase student learning.
  • Results Analysis to examine and translate student outcomes into the teacher evaluation system, refine practices and make informed decisions based on results.

SLO Framework

The whole process counts when implementing SLOs. So it is absolutely essential to get the framework right.

CTAC’s SLO framework is research-based. It includes a set of six key elements and is field-tested. Research findings indicate that, in following this framework to develop SLOs, teachers and principals are thinking differently. And getting better results for students.

SLO Quality Rating Rubrics

SLO quality matters. CTAC’s groundbreaking studies of the impact of SLOs in Denver and Charlotte-Mecklenburg show that there is a positive, significant relationship between the quality of the SLOs and the results in student academic growth.

CTAC provides both holistic and analytical quality rating rubrics to districts and states. We support you in customizing and using the rubrics to:

  • Guide teachers and principals when crafting SLOs
  • Rate SLOs objectively and consistently
  • Provide the data needed to assess the effectiveness of implementation

Policy Decision-Making

Successful implementation of SLOs depends on policy decisions from the boardroom to the classroom. Deciding to go the SLO route is a policy decision that triggers many other policy decisions. We support your efforts to make responsive decisions in areas such as:

  • Guidelines for teachers in tested and non-tested grades and subjects
  • Collective bargaining agreements
  • Assessments and approval processes
  • Leadership and professional development

Implementation That Works

The SLO process is manageable and effective when you take the right steps in implementation. We help you to achieve success and avoid pitfalls by sharing protocols that are field-tested, backed up by research and address issues such as:

  • Alignment of SLOs with Common Core Standards, data-driven instruction and professional learning communities
  • Integration of SLOs, teacher observations, and metrics such as student growth percentiles and value added measures
  • Annotations of SLOs that lead to better practice and results

District Support Systems

Support systems need to reinforce the instructional emphasis of the evaluation model and help districts be more effective in assisting their schools. We help you to address the following:

  • Research findings and their implications for district leadership and support systems
  • Strategies for addressing strains on various district systems
  • Strategies for integrating SLOs within districts’ core instructional frameworks
  • Relation and implications of changeover in assessments to the SLO process

Standards of Practice

High quality practices make all the difference with SLOs. Districts and states need to achieve an effective balance between flexibility and standardization of practices. Based on national lessons learned, we build your capacity in critically important areas, including:

  • Standards of rigor and comparability
  • Inter-rater reliability
  • Certification of trainers and evaluators
  • Distribution of teacher evaluation ratings

Assessment

SLOs link student learning to instructional practices. We help you to prepare for and address issues that come to the fore with new evaluation systems, including:

  • Definitions of student growth
  • Assessment literacy
  • Teacher developed and performance-based assessments
  • Scoring assessments in the new evaluation system

Fairness and Validity

Districts and states need to implement SLOs in ways that are both fair and perceived as fair. This result is only achieved when your new evaluation system is widely understood as being valid. Our national staff team helps you to address three kinds of validity:

  • Statistical validity so that your results can stand up to the closest scrutiny
  • Educational validity so that your evaluation system makes sense to teacher and principals
  • Political validity so that every step of implementation is legitimate

Content Areas and Approaches

Teachers of all grades and subjects need to be supported when they craft SLOs. We have extensive experience in special areas and approaches, including:

  • Career and Technical Education/Linked Learning
  • Early Childhood Education
  • English Language Learners
  • Personalized Learning
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics
  • Special Education and Students With Disabilities

See examples of our experience