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  • Sarah Tira

IEP Goal Baselines

How can you measure progress if you don’t know where you’re starting from? IEP goal progress determines so much about your child’s education. Clear, qualitative data about the level of mastery in IEP goals helps your child’s IEP team:


Determine if the current placement is appropriate

Evaluate the effectiveness of current services like speech, occupational therapy, and specialized academic instruction

Figure out what goals your child should work on for the next school year

Identify any unmet areas of need that need further assessment

Understand the average rate of learning that can be expected for your child given the supports and services they currently receive

And more!


If a goal baseline is vague, it makes it very hard to understand if a goal is rigorous enough or too difficult. It also makes it much more difficult for parents to understand what may be missing within their child’s educational program. Descriptive terms like “minimal,” or “some,” prompting may be clear to the person writing the baseline, but it should be clear enough that anyone reading the IEP can understand exactly what that prompting looks like.


How can you avoid this problem? When reading your child’s proposed IEP goals at their annual review, compare what the goal is measuring to what they can currently do. If you were to test them on the skill right then and there, what accuracy would they achieve, and with how much prompting? Don’t be afraid to ask your child’s IEP team these same questions. These accurate baselines will help them during IEP goal progress reporting periods, too!



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