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Educational Acronyms

Every profession has its own acronyms, abbreviations and short hand. Education is no different. Dr. Ken Wallace, District 207 Superintendent, has compiled a list of some of those commonly used in school settings.

Acronym Term Definition
ACT American College Testing College Entrance Exam to determine students’ preparedness for college
AYP Adequate Yearly Progress Measurement by which schools, districts and states are held accountable for student performance
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act Civil Rights law mandating rights and protections for people with disabilities
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder Disorder characterized by the inability to concentrate and in some cases, impulsiveness and hyperactivity
CHOICE Choice Reform movement focused on affording parents the right to choose which school their child attends
Differentiated Instruction Differentiated Instruction Teaching students at various levels of skill and knowledge within the same classroom
Disaggregated Data Disaggregated Data Examination of students’ achievement data or test scores by separating out data for specific groups
Dual Enrollment Dual Enrollment Courses allowing students to receive both high school and college credit simultaneously
ESEA Elementary and Secondary Education Act Act focuses on children from high-poverty communities and students at risk of educational failure
ESL English as a Second Language Instruction for English-language learners that focus on English immersion
ELL English Language Learners Students enrolled in U.S. schools who speak a language other than English and have not mastered English
E-Rate Education Rate Rate administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to pay for telecommunications services for K-12 schools and public libraries
FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Federal law that protects the privacy of student records in schools receiving federal funding by requiring written permission to release educational data.
FAPE Frree, Appropriate Public Education Grants students with disabilities a "free, appropriate public education".
GPA Grade Point Average Calculation of students’ standings based on classes taken and grades received
Growth Models Growth Models An accountability system based on the academic growth students show from year to year
Higher Order Thinking Skills Higher Order Thinking Skills Skills that involve the ability to think and evaluate complex ideas
Highly Qualified Teachers Highly Qualified Teacher A teacher that is certified and has demonstrated proficiency in his/her subject matter
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Grants handicapped students the right to a "free, appropriate public education
IEP Individualized Education Program Educational blueprint agreed on by parents and educators for a student with disabilities
Instructional Coach Instructional Coach Full-time/Part-time teacher who works with colleagues individually or in a group to improve teaching practices
IB International Baccalaureate Program of rigorous coursework and examinations based on internationally developed curriculum
LRE Least Restrictive Environment Act Mandate that a child with disabilities be educated in the regular classroom or least restrictive environment
LEP Limited-English Proficient Students Students enrolled in U.S. schools who speak a language other than English and have not mastered English
LEA Local Education Agency Local School Districts
LEF Local Education Fund Community-based advocacy organizations that work to engage the public in the mission of public schools
N-Size N-Size Number of children belonging to a subset…subgroup normally used to group students by test scores
NAEP National Assessment of Educational Progress National testing program administered by the National Center for Education in Reading, Math, Science, Writing, History & Geography
NCLB No Child Left Behind Act Measures designed to improve achievement and accountability in schools, including ensuring schools are making "adequate yearly progress" in student achievement as well as employing highly qualified teachers
OCR Office for Civil Rights Office that investigates discrimination complaints involving schools and students
P-16/P-20 Councils or Initiatives P-16/P-20 Councils or Initiatives Council or effort seeking to advise state governments and shape policy on how to integrate a student’s education beginning in pre-school through college
Peer Coaching Peer Coaching Two or more teachers working in collaboration and confidential fashion to improve each other’s practice
Performance Based Assessment Performance Based Assessment Method requiring students to perform hands-on tasks such as writing or conducting an experiment as an alternative to multiple-choice, machine scored tests
PLC Professional Learning Community Collaborative teams, usually teachers, working interdependently to improve learning for all students
PISA Program for International Student Assessment Standardized international science/mathematical exams by which achievement from various nations is compared
PSAE Prairie State Achievement Exam Measures the achievement of grade 11 students reading, mathematics, science, and writing.
RTI Response to Intervention Educational process of providing targeted, scientifically validated instruction in a student’s areas of weakness
Safe Harbor Provisions Safe Harbor Provisions Provides a second chance to schools by allowing schools credit for making adequate yearly progress as long as more students maintained/moved up in proficiency in the current year than in the preceding year
Scaffolding Scaffolding Metaphor to describe support that teachers (and in some cases peers) offer students when learning a new concept
School Choice School Choice Proposal that allows children to attend schools outside their local district boundaries
Scientifically Based Research Scientifically Based Research General team used to refer to studies that use randomized controlled trials or other very rigorous research
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section of law the prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by agencies that receive federal funding
SEL Social and Emotional Learning School based program aiming to teach students to manage their emotions by practicing empathy, caring and cooperation
STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Educational priority focusing on these subjects for business leaders and a growing cadre of American educators
SES Supplemental Educational Services Mandate where schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress three years in a row must offer supplemental, educational services , free tutoring to low income students in the district
Tenure Tenure Job security to teachers who have successfully completed a probationary period on the job
Title I Title I Federal government’s flagship aid program for disadvantaged students
Title IX Title IX Law that bars gender discrimination in education facilities that receive federal funds
Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Educational Act Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Educational Act Federal program created to make limited English-proficient students proficient in the English language
Value Added Value Added Statistical method for determining the impact of a teacher or school
Web 2.0 New generation of Internet Use Term coined to reflect the new generation of Internet use
What Works Clearinghouse What Works Clearinghouse Online clearinghouse supported by the U.S. Department of Education
Wiki Wiki Internet site that allows anyone with access to it the ability to add or edit content on the site
Zero Tolerance Policy Zero Tolerance Policy Practices in place in some schools and districts that exact strict discipline in cases where students violate policies concerning weapons and drugs.
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