Translation Guide to Education Jargon
by Claudette Riley And Diane Long, The Tennessean,
October 26, 2003
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sentence somebody might say these days in a school near you:
"Now that we have to disaggregate scores on a CRT, I don't see
how Title I kids are going to make AYP."
If you understood that, face it: You're a hopeless education
nerd. But parents and other people interested in schools need to
recognize some of the jargon common in a discussion about the No
Child Left Behind education law. Here's a translation guide:
That's shorthand for No Child Left Behind, the federal law that
requires 100% of students to be proficient in reading and math
by 2013-14. Add a few vowels and you can hear why the real
insiders call it "nickel-be."
Adequate yearly progress. NCLB requires schools to reach a
series of test-score benchmarks along the nine-year path to 100%
proficiency. Miss the mark and the school doesn't make AYP.
Every state must set a standard for the reading and math
performance of its students. Students who meet or exceed that
standard are considered proficient, which helps the school meet
Schools can no longer report a single average test score for the
entire school. Under NCLB, the scores must be disaggregated, or
separated, for eight subgroups to show whether each made AYP.
The biggest chunk of NCLB is Title I, the section concerning
students from low-income families. Other titles in the law deal
with immigrant students, parental choice, technology and highly
Under NCLB, teachers must meet new requirements to teach in a
public school after 2005-06. If they do, they're considered
highly qualified. There's a companion set of expectations for
Norm-referenced test. Under its old plan, Tennessee used an NRT
to show how well the state's students performed when compared
with their peers across the country.
Criterion-referenced test. NCLB requires a CRT to show whether
an individual student is considered proficient when measured
against the state's academic standards in each subject.
States are allowed to give some students extra help on the CRT.
Such accommodations include more time to take the test or a
simplified-language version for special education students or
students who are learning English.
Schools that don't reach some of the NCLB benchmarks can still
make AYP if they make enough progress in improving test scores.
Exemplary Educators are Tennessee's front-line offense for
schools struggling under the rules of NCLB. The veteran teachers
are trained and assigned to schools that need help.
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