Unravelling the acronyms

Hello parents out there!  If you’re like me, new to the school system and trying to understand it all, maybe you had a WTF moment like I did.  It’s not hard to see how confusing it all is when trying to decipher all the acronyms.

When the USDOE announced RTTT, they offered grant money  to LEAs that wish to apply.  The LEA must then submit their APPR to NYSED and are held accountable according to new SLO.  How is this different from NCLB, I wondered, where schools were required to show AYP?  Are schools still at risk of being labeled SINOI?  Would they then be assigned a TFA teacher?  Many schools sytems are using VAM to evaluate teachers, and this has led to the implementation of many sort of standardized tests.  I was familiar with the ACT and the SAT, but had a lot to learn about new methods of evaluations used in our schools– STAR, AIMSweb, DIBELS, MAP, just to name a few.  If a student does poorly does that require an RTI?  Would there be an AIS?  Why, I wondered, is there so much focus on math and ELA?  I also wondered what NYSUT, the PTA, and the BOE thought of all of this.

If this sounds confusing, you’re not alone.  I’m sure I’ll encounter new acronyms as I learn my way though public education.  If you’ve got one that I forgot, please feel free to post it in the comment section.  As for a translation of what I just wrote, let me spell out those acronyms for you:

USDOE–U.S. Department of Education
RTTT–Race To The Top
LEA–Local Education Authority
APPR–Annual Professional Performance Review
NYSED–New York State Education Department
SLO–Student Learning Objectives
NCLB–No Child Left Behind
AYP–Adequate Yearly Progress
SINOI–School in need of improvement
TFA–Teach For America
VAM–Value-Added Measures
ACT–American College Testing
SAT–Scholastic Aptitude Test
STAR–(not really an acronym) but a type of assessment product sold by Renaissance Learning
AIMSweb–Academic Improvement Measurement System
DIBELS–Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills
MAP–Measures of Academic Progress
RTI–Response to Intervention
AIS–Academic Intervention Services
ELA–English Language Arts
NYSUT–New York State United Teachers
PTA–Parent-Teacher Association
BOE–Board of Education


5 thoughts on “Unravelling the acronyms

  1. AIMSweb is a very expensive product made by Pearson. Nice work explaining the “Alphabet soup” of education. Even educators do not know all of them!

  2. Pingback: What is RTTT? « The Plain Satisfactions

  3. Pingback: The Look, part 1 « The Plain Satisfactions

  4. Reblogged this on The Plain Satisfactions and commented:

    When I first published this post there were less that 200 member in the Opt-out NY Facebook group. Now we are just shy of 1000, with new members every single day. Someone recently asked me about this post, and so I thought it relevant to reblog!

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