The teacher "describes how the goal is aligned to all key standards." She explains, in detail, how she grouped and sequenced all content standards into units in order to cover all the material tested on the regents exam. (i.e., "We started the year with a unit on measurement and topographic maps; then there was a unit on dynamic earth that included plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes; then a unit on minerals; then rocks; then landscapes; earth history; insulation; meteorology; climate; and the last unit of the year was astronomy.")

In addition, the teacher "explains the specific and prioritized knowledge and skills that each student will need to master in order to reach the goal-including pre-requisites." In the narrative, the teacher uses the landscape unit as an example of how she breaks down the knowledge and skills the class will need to master in a unit into clear and measurable pieces. She also discusses her process of prioritizing what she plans to teach students "based both on what would be most likely to appear on the Regents, but more importantly on which standards represented the fundamental understandings in earth science as well as the transferable scientific skills that students would need to succeed in future grades." In addition to delineating the knowledge and skills the entire class needs to master, the teacher has used the diagnostic to identify "pre-requisites" that individuals or groups of students will also need to be taught. (i.e., "For example, from the diagnostic, I was able to discern that almost all students struggled to interpret line graphs. However, there was a subset of students who also struggled to read bar graphs, as well as one student who still could not read pie charts. I collected this kind of data for each student, so that I knew exactly how to get every student where they needed to be by test time.").

The teacher "cites a specific set of balanced measurement tools on which the goal can be judged" including a bank of old Regents exams, labs, written essay exams, the NWEA, and the Regents test itself.

Finally, the teacher sets her goals, "taking into account which transferable skills, even outside the direct scope of the subject area being taught, and which tools of assessment will be most meaningful to students’ lives." The teacher sets goals around foundational math and science skills "outside the direct scope" of the NYS Earth Science curriculum including ""scientific inquiry," "number sense," "computation and estimation," "measurement" and "problem solving"" to ensure that students grow on the transferable scientific skills that they will use in future grades. Also, the teacher chooses the Regents exam to assess students mastery of her goal because of the ways in which passing the Regents exam, as 8th graders, will be meaningful to her students’ lives. (i.e., "In determining the big goal for the year, I was really saying to myself, "My mission is to close the achievement gap. What does that mean in my specific context for my students?" Given that my kids were in 8th grade, that there's this Regents framework in New York City, that my students have to apply to high schools-given all of that... I knew that if they'd do well on this test, they'd have different choices for high school, which could theoretically change their entire futures.")