The 2017 Supreme Court decision Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District highlighted the importance of monitoring students’ progress toward appropriately challenging individualized educational program (IEP) annual goals and making changes to students’ educational programs when needed. The process for setting an IEP goal should be closely tied to progress monitoring, a valid, reliable method for providing frequent, ongoing assessment of a student’s performance.
This guide from the National Center on Intensive Intervention explains how educators can establish IEP goals that are measurable, ambitious, and appropriate considering the student's circumstances. Four important steps are required for setting a valid goal for individual student performance: selecting a measure, establishing baseline performance, choosing a strategy for setting the goal, and writing a measurable goal. Although this guide presents the steps that educators can take to set appropriate IEP goals, all members of the IEP team, including families, should be involved in discussions about setting the goal.