Federal law, IDEA 2004: Sec. 300.320 Under Definition of Individualized Education Program:, requires that the IEP include:
(2)(i) A statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals designed to--
(A) Meet the child's needs that result from the child's disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; and
(B) Meet each of the child's other educational needs that result from the child's disability;
(ii) For children with disabilities who take alternate assessments aligned to alternate achievement standards, a description of benchmarks or short-term objectives;
(3) A description of--
(i) How the child's progress toward meeting the annual goals described in paragraph (2) of this section will be measured; and
(ii) When periodic reports on the progress the child is making toward meeting the annual goals.
(In Mass. our special education state law requires written progress reports to be submitted to parents at least as often as report cards or progress reports for students without disabilities. 28.07(3) ).
(IDEA 97: Sec. 300.347(a)(2) Under Content of IEP: "A statement of measurable annual goals, including benchmarks of short-term objectives."
Also, there is a strong emphasis in Part B that the goals of the IEP will be attached to the general curriculum.)
IEP Process Guide, by Massachusetts Department of Education, (June 2001) pages 17 & 18:
"IEP 4 (page 18) - Goals must be measurable and must specify the expected knowledge, skill, behavior or attitude to be achieved within the IEP period, typically one school year."