Educational Buzzwords: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Like most occupations, education has a unique vocabulary, and teachers may use some educational buzzwords when talking about your child. What do educators really mean when they say things like 'individualized learning' and 'core curriculum standards'? You may want to keep current with all these words so you can discuss your child's education more knowledgeably.

Find available tutors

Overview of Educational Buzzwords

Acronyms

ADA (average daily attendance) is the term schools use to calculate the total number of days of student attendance divided by the total days in a school year. Days of non-attendance are subtracted from the total. Most schools are funded based on ADA.

API refers to academic performance index, which is the statewide ranking of schools according to results from standardized testing. Most schools have a ranking number of 200 to 1,000, which is used to compare them to similar schools.

AYP (adequate yearly progress) is the minimum level of progress as measured by state tests that schools and districts must achieve to meet federal No Child Left Behind legislation.

ESL (English as a second language) refers to English language instruction for students whose primary language is not English.

NCLB (No Child Left Behind) is a federal law mandating states to assess all students in basic skills. The law is intended to support standards-based education with the idea of raising the achievement gap for disadvantaged children.

Special Education Terms

An accommodation refers to the changes in a classroom structure that allow a person with a disability to participate in an activity. For example, allowing extended time or a different format for testing may be an accommodation for a student with a specific learning disability.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) refers to legislation that guarantees students with disabilities a free and appropriate public education and the right to be educated with their non-disabled peers.

An Individualized Education Evaluation (IEE) is an independent evaluation of a child, which parents may request if they disagree with the school assessment.

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) defines the written document that states the disabled child's goals and objectives. It also describes the special education services available. In certain states, IEP can also stand for Individualized Education Plan.

General Education Terms

Aptitude tests are tests that attempt to predict a person's ability to do something.

A benchmark is the level of performance students should show by a particular point in their schooling.

Best practices refer to classroom instructional strategies that have been demonstrated and accepted by the professional community to improve student learning.

Core curriculum standards are your state's standards of instruction for each subject area. Core curriculum generally refers to math, language arts and science instruction.

Differentiated instruction is an instructional technique that includes various ways to teach content and assess learning. It is used to meet student needs and differences in readiness, interests, and learning styles.

Formative assessment is a test that determines what students have learned at a particular time in order to plan and 'formulate' further instruction.

Higher-order thinking skills refer to the ability to apply complex concepts to sometimes conflicting information to solve a problem that may have more than one correct answer.

Individual learning styles means that not all students learn the same way. For example, some kids are verbal learners, while others learn visually or aurally. One implication of different learning styles is that teachers should vary their teaching by using visual aids, concrete examples, and tactile experiences as well as verbal concepts in presenting what is to be learned.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Don't Let your Child Struggle with Words

    Most students, at some point in their academic careers, will struggle with their reading skills. Parents can be on the lookout for possible signs of trouble. Parents can turn to online tutors, face to face tutors, or choose to work directly with their child. Read on to learn more.

  • More Blog Articles
    How to Teach Your Kids to Use the Internet Responsibly

    A question for parents: would you allow your children to play outside without keeping an eye on them? Many would likely say no. Well, the same mentality should be used when your kids use the Internet; in other words, kids should not be allowed to roam the vast world of the Internet unsupervised and without fully understanding...

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online

K12

  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only

Kumon

  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only

TutorVista

  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Help Your Child Succeed

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth