Results-Driven Pittsburgh Attorney

Are Your Child’s Post-Secondary Goals Measurable?

Post-secondary goals are always considered and written into IEPs during a child's high school career, but the significant question is, how do they read? If an IEP reads, "Johnny wants to be a veterinary technician after high school," that's not appropriately written. Goals, even post-secondary goals need to be measurable. The federal regulations of the IDEA require post-secondary goals to be appropriate; measurable; and related to training, education, employment, and, if appropriate, independent living skills. I've read that one way to measure the goal is to use a "stranger test." This test determines whether a stranger would be able to understand what the goal was about and whether the stranger could measure it. When helping your IEP team write measurable goals, avoid vague language. I see vague language pretty frequently in my clients' IEPs. Language such as "wants to" or "wishes to" is not a measurement. Instead of writing "Johnny wants to be a veterinary technician after high school," consider writing, "Within 6 months of graduating high school Johnny will be in a veterinary technician program at (Name of School) Community College." Along those same lines, progress towards this goal can be tracked by including within the IEP, "Johnny will fill out an application for (School Name) community college in the spring." These are just a few of many examples of how goals, including post-secondary goals, can be written in a measurable way.