Words Words Words

A few more entries from The Didact’s Dictionary:

acronym n.: 1. in good prose, an alphabet soup stain. 2. in jargon, an initial obfuscation. 3.  in education branding (q.v.), repackaging by initials in order to make snappy what is essentially flaccid, as NCLB (No Child Left Behind), or to assert the truth of what is essentially false, as RAT (RAce to the Top).

behind n.: 1. (US education: NCLB) ahead.

GERM n.: [Global Education Reform Movement] a putative movement confined to the U.S. that unlike minuscule germs and genuine movements does not spread or move anywhere except by top-down inoculation and forced incubation.

value n.: 1. in general, relative worth 2. (non-standard) a student’s result on a standardized multiple-choice test in one of two subjects tested but of six subjects taught. Formerly but mistakenly called “achievement.”

added part.: in education, usually with value: augmented by teaching, completion of assigned study, parental encouragement, private tutoring, independent exploration, interest by peers, and inculturation; but arbitrarily deemed the responsibility of a teacher.

metrics n.: in baloney (see balonist), the means of posing as a judge of academic qualities by asking multiple-choice questions and scoring answers, the way no other judge works.

truth n.: what corresponds to reality. antonyms.: falsehood, bunk, rubbish, lie, baloney, b*******, value-added metrics.

And an observation:

The first PISA reading test results, released at about the time of NCLB’s passage, showed US schools behind Finland’s and those of thirteen other governments. Ten years after NCLB, the latest PISA reading test shows US schools behind those of sixteen governments, including three that were not in the first results. The results were worse for math and science. GERM is agitating for more of what led to this decade of success.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.