Improving Student Growth



TxCEE developed a process for measuring student growth using Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). An SLO is a measurable, focused, academic-centered goal that describes what students should know or be able to do at the end of an interval of instruction (American Institutes for Research, 2012). TxCEE provides coaching to educators in using data to assess student progress and adjusting instruction based on that progress.

Learn about our Student Learning Objectives (SLO) process and how it can assist you in improving student growth by reading below.

Educators and policymakers agree that measuring both student growth and attainment is paramount in evaluating the impact of public schools on student learning. TxCEE leads districts in utilizing fair, consistent, and accurate measures for determining student growth outcomes. We recognize that teachers want to ensure that all students are being considered in growth analysis and that credit is given for extensive student growth, even if the student has not quite met the required level to pass the state assessment. In addition, student progress should be valued and rewarded.

TxCEE drew upon research and lessons learned from a number of districts and states across the country to develop a Student Learning Objective (SLO) process that can be used to measure growth in every classroom. TxCEE’s SLO process, which is aligned with Texas state standards, has been adopted in over 40 school districts across the state.


SLO Facts:

  • Texas districts must measure student growth in every classroom by the 2018-19 school year.
  • SLOs provide an adaptable way for teachers in ALL subject areas/grade levels to measure student growth at the classroom level.
  • The TxCEE SLO process aligns with the implementation of any educator evaluation system, including T-TESS and T-PESS.
  • SLO outcomes can be used as a way to identify professional development needs of teachers and the learning needs of students.
  • SLOs can be used as one of multiple measures for determining teacher effectiveness.


What is an SLO?

A Student Learning Objective is a measurable, focused, academic-centered goal that describes what students should know or be able to do at the end of an interval of instruction. Prior to defining and writing the SLO, teachers conduct a review of student data to determine the areas of significant need for the student. Once the area of need and a focused objective have been identified, teachers will monitor student progress towards that objective. At the end of an interval of instruction, students will be asked to demonstrate what they know or what they can do related to that SLO.


Why use an SLO?

Research has shown that using data to set goals for student growth leads to greater academic growth and performance by students. SLOs provide a way for teachers to measure students’ progress while improving their instructional practice.

  • SLOs formalize effective teaching practices through setting goals, using data to monitor and assess progress, and adjusting instruction based on results.
  • SLOs are flexible, adaptable, and allow all teachers an opportunity to measure their practice since they are not dependent on state or district assessments.
  • SLOs value educators and allow them to share their expertise in content knowledge, assessment literacy, data use, and progress monitoring.
  • SLOs promote collaboration and reflection allowing teachers to share with their teams and colleagues to improve practice and student achievement.
  • SLOs tie best practices to student learning and encourage educators to set high expectations for students.

(Lachlan-Hache, 2012; Reform Support Network, 2014)

TxCEE Services for SLO Implementation:

  • SLO Readiness Assessment
  • SLO Guidebook for Administrators and Teachers
  • Training and implementation support for district and campus staff on SLOs, including analysis of student data, writing and administering effective assessments, and developing rigorous SLOs
  • Development of a SLO Communication Plan
  • Development of a SLO Scoring Process
  • Development of a SLO Approval Process, Procedures, and Rubric
  • Online SLO Learning Modules and Support
  • Licensing of the TxCEE SLO data management system



SLO Process
A diagram showing the SLO process is below.