The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004
requires that all students who receive special education services have measurable annual goal(s) included in their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). This may include academic (standards-based) and/or functional (non-standards-based) goals, based on the individual student’s needs, as documented in their Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) statements.
The purpose of these goals, as is the purpose of all special education services, is to assist the student in accessing and progressing in the general curriculum. Academic (standards-based) goals are goals directly linked to progressing toward enrolled grade-level content standards; functional (non-standards-based) goals are goals that assist the student in accessing the enrolled grade-level content standards.