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(4.24) What is the difference between short-term objective and a benchmark?

(4.24) What is the difference between short-term objective and a benchmark?

Short-term objectives or benchmarks are now only required for students who take alternative assessments. Generally, short-term objectives are defined as measurable intermediate steps while benchmarks are defined as major milestones that enable parents, students, and educators to monitor a student’s progress toward achieving the annual goals. Short-term objectives break down the skills described in the annual goal into discrete components. Benchmarks describe the amount of progress the child is expected to make within specified segments of the year and establish expected performance levels that allow for regular checks of progress. An IEP team may use either short-term objectives or benchmarks. [20 U.S.C. Sec.1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(I)(cc); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.320(a)(2)(ii); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56345(a)(1)(C).]