Acronyms and Definitions
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A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000 (H.B. 1187): Education
legislation drafted by Governor Roy Barnes that took effect in April
2000. The law lowered class sizes, developed an accountability
framework with state criterion-referenced tests as the measurement
system, created school councils and implemented early intervention
Ability Grouping: A way to organize students of like abilities that
allows them to remain together for a short period of time – part of
the school day, a few days or a few weeks.
Accelerated Reader (AR) – The Accelerated Reading program is
designed to increase independent reading of participants. The
program provides computer comprehension tests for a variety of
reading material at many different levels.
Accreditation: The process by which an organization sanctions teacher-education programs.
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams: Tests administered by the College Board in various subjects such as European history, calculus and foreign language. High school students take these exams to receive college credit.
American College Testing (ACT) Assessment: National college admission examination that consists of tests in English, reading, mathematics and science reasoning.
American with Disabilities Act (ADA): Federal law passed in 1990 that prohibits the discrimination against any disabled individual. Applies to both employment and educational services.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): A medical term used to describe students with severe inattention and impulsiveness. The disorder can be treated through medication, psychotherapy, behavior modification and training. The most common medications used are Ritalin, Dexedrine and Aderall.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A medical term used to describe students with inappropriate degrees of hyperactivity, inattention and impulsiveness. The disorder can be treated through medication, psychotherapy and behavior modification and training. The most common medications used are Ritalin, Dexadrine and Anderall.
Behavior Disorder (BD): A term used in special education to describe students whose behavior interferes with their classroom performance. Such students have problems relating to other children and adults, exhibit inappropriate behaviors such as extreme anger, are severely depressed or have a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears about personal and school problems.
Behavioral Correction Plan: Plan developed for a student with chronic disciplinary problems upon return from an expulsion or suspension.
Benchmarks: Examples of performances that serve as standards against which students’ achievement is scored.
Blue Ribbon Schools Program: A national program established by the U.S. Department of Education in 1982 to honor outstanding public and private schools across the country and share information on the best practices among schools.
Board of Education (BOE): A body of elected officials responsible for education policy and accountability.
Business/Education Partnership: School-reform coalitions formed by private businesses and schools or districts. Partnerships range from individual school partnerships to systemic school reform efforts.
Carnegie Unit: One unit of credit awarded in grades 9 through 12 for a minimum of 150 hours of instruction during the regular school year or 120 hours of instruction during summer school.
Certificate of Performance: Certificate for students who do not pass the Georgia High School Graduation Test, but meet all other graduation requirements. Students who leave school with a certificate of performance may take the graduation test again as many times as necessary to qualify for a high school diploma.
College and Career Georgia Performance Standards: The new CCGPS are meant to raise the level of expectation of ALL students in Georgia. The change in curriculum goals and expectations will change the ways teachers approach their content. With this change, it is important to understand the professional responsibility of the classroom teacher to differentiate instruction in order to meet the unique needs of their students.
College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI): The new Georgia Department of Education accountability system that replaces the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measure. CCRPI goes beyond a single set of test results, rating schools for student achievement, academic progress over time and for closing the achievement gap for specific student groups.
College Board: Nonprofit organization that administers the SAT and AP Programs.
Communities in Schools (CIS): A community-based organization that helps children succeed in school and prepare for life. Through partnerships with schools, public officials, businesses, parents and the community, the organization provides numerous services to prevent children from dropping out of school.
Community Partnership: Connections between local organizations and schools to help address students’ needs and improve achievement.
Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT): Tests administered to Georgia students to evaluate students’ acquisition of skills and knowledge described in Georgia’s Quality Core Curriculum (QCC). In grades one through eight, tests are also given in science and social studies. CRCT scores produce information on students, classrooms, schools, systems and state achievement in education.
Early Intervention Programs (EIP): Programs provided from kindergarten through the fifth grade. These programs provide specialized instruction in smaller classes to students who are performing below grade level.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): Federal law passed in 1965 that focuses on children from high-poverty communities and students at risk of education failure. The Act authorizes Title I, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Title VII programs and was reauthorized in 2002 as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD): Disorders characterized by consistently aggressive, impulsive or withdrawn behavior (i.e. schizophrenia). EBDs impair personal, social, academic and vocational skills.
End-of-Course Tests (EOCT): Assessments for high schools students in core subjects to be determined by the Georgia Board of Education. The tests will measure students’ acquisition of skills and knowledge described in the Georgia Quality Core Curriculum.
English Language Learners (ELL): Students who are not native English speakers. They are supported by an ESOL program until full immersion in the general education setting is appropriate.
English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): The Quality Basic Education Act provides for the creation of programs designed to help limited English proficient students. These programs develop proficiency in the English language skills of listening, speaking, writing and reading so that students can experience success in their classrooms and in social contexts both inside and outside of the school.
Equalization Grants: State funding to provide additional assistance to the poorer school districts. Equalization funding aims to reduce the disparities as to how much can be raised through local tax dollars between the wealthiest and poorest school districts in the state.
Exceptional Learners: Students with an IQ in the bottom (mentally challenged) or top (gifted) three percent of the population or who have other physical or mental differences that affect learning. All exceptional learners receive special education.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): A federal law that protects the privacy of student education records and applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
Fiscal Year (FY): The fiscal calendar runs from July 1 through June 30.
Full Academic Year (FAY): Students enroll in school for the full academic year.
Full Time Equivalent (FTE): The process used in the reporting of all students and their specific areas of service to the state department for funding of public schools. Funding is generated based upon three “student counts” per year that identify all of the services that are offered to students including general education programs, special education and support programs.
Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE): Georgia’s state approved educator certification assessment program. The purpose of the assessments is to ensure that the knowledge and skills acquired by prospective Georgia educators are aligned with state and national standards for educator preparation and with state standards for the P-12 student curriculum.
Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT): Passage required by high school students to receive a high school diploma. Covers content in mathematics, language arts, science and social studies. Performance levels are reported at the pass and pass plus levels. A score of 500 is needed to pass each section of the Graduation Test. The pass plus scale scores are 538 or greater for English language arts and 535 or greater for math.
Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT): Administered to all 11th grade students. Students are asked to produce a response to a persuasive writing prompt.
Georgia Kindergarten Assessment Program-Revised (GKAP-R): A test administered to kindergarten students in Georgia to determine whether they are ready for first grade. Students are evaluated in the areas of literacy, mathematics and social/emotional development through one-on-one, small group and large group instructional settings throughout the year.
Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS): Georgia’s Quality Education Act requires that children enrolled in Georgia public school kindergarten programs be assessed for first grade readiness with an instrument or instruments adopted by the Georgia State Board of Education. Readiness information obtained by the instrument shall be used by the local school system, along with teacher recommendations and other relevant information, to make appropriate individual student grade placement decisions.
Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE): Founded in 1990 by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Economic Developers Association, the Partnership consists of business, education, community and government leaders who share a vision of improved education. Working to be Georgia’s foremost change agent in education, the non-profit, non-partisan organization takes lead roles in efforts to shape policy and reform education. The mission of the Partnership is to improve the academic achievement of Georgia students through research, advocacy and communication.
Georgia Schools of Excellence Program: Statewide program that works in conjunction with the Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The program recognizes outstanding Georgia public and private schools and nominates them for the national program.
Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (GTAPP): College coursework and supervised hands-on experience for individuals who hold college degrees and wish to teach in grades K-12, but who have not completed a traditional teacher preparation program.
Gifted: A student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her ability(ies).
Gifted and Talented: Students in Gifted or Talented Education (GTE) classes who are not identified as gifted, but who demonstrate exceptional ability and motivation.
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA): A state agency that provides education policy support for the Governor of Georgia, including data analysis and presentation. Responsible for the annual accountability “report cards” for each Georgia school and system.
Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE): Funded by the Georgia Lottery, the HOPE program provides qualified Georgia students with tuition assistance in diploma, certificate or degree programs at any public or private college, university or technical institution in the state. To qualify, students must earn a 3.0 GPA in high school, and they must maintain a 3.0 in college to keep the scholarship.
Highly Qualified Teacher: A teacher is considered Highly Qualified when he or she meets the requirements of (1) obtaining an academic minimum of a bachelor’s degree, (2)obtaining a full state certification or licensure, and (3) formally demonstrates a high level of competency on the subject taught.
In-School Suspension (ISS): An alternative to Out-Of-School Suspension for less severe rule infractions. The goal of ISS is to remove students from interactions with their peers. Students are given specific assignments aimed at improving their academic levels.
In-Service Workshop: Workshops attended by teachers on various topics pertaining to education.
Inclusion: Term used when special education or ESOL students receive educational services in a general educational classroom setting. The students are included in the regular education program rather than being served in individual education classes.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP): A plan developed by a student’s parent and teachers that outlines the student’s program of study and the particular education services the child receives.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): A law passed in 1990 that requires public schools to provide a free and appropriate public education to disabled school-aged children ages three through 21.
Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS): Achievement tests given to students throughout the country. Scores usually are reported as percentiles, with scores in the 50th percentile being the national norm.
Learning Disability (LD): A term used in special education to describe a disorder in one of the basic psychological processes. These students may have difficulty in listening, thinking, speaking, writing, spelling or doing mathematical calculations.
Limited-English-Proficient (LEP) Students: Students whose first language is other than English and who have not yet mastered English and are serviced by an ESOL program.
Limited-English-Proficient – Monitored (LEP-M): Students whose first language is other than English and who have not yet mastered English and who are not being serviced by an ESOL program, but are still being monitored for success.
Magnet School: A school with strong emphasis in a particular subject area (i.e. music, science, drama, math). Students may be selected through an application process instead of being assigned based on residence.
Mainstreaming: Moving a special education student from a special environment into regular school improvement.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): Often referred to as the National Report Card. National testing program administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Reading and mathematics tests are given to fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade students nationwide. NAEP reports student performance as average scale scores and by achievement levels. Average scale scores reflect the performance of test takers both as a whole and in groups (i.e. by gender, race, etc.) NAEP has three achievement levels: basic (partial mastery), proficient (solid academic performance) and advanced (superior academic performance).
National Board Certification (NBC): Rigorous program for classroom teachers administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that includes performance-based assessments and peer review. The state and some local school systems reward National Board Certified teachers with additional pay. NBC takes approximately a year to complete and is the top national certification for educators.
Next Generation School Project (NGSP): An initiative of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. It is a grassroots effort that encourages local communities to organize themselves to dramatically improve their local schools. For 10 years, schools receive annual grants to give them necessary resources for innovations. In 2002, schools began to receive grants to change the school calendar from the traditional 180 days to a more balanced calendar that features strong intercessions for remediation and enrichment activities.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act: Law passed in 2001 that emphasizes increased accountability for States, school systems and schools and creates greater choice for parents and students, particularly those attending low-performing schools. The law gives more flexibility for states and local education agencies in the use of federal education dollars, and a stronger emphasis on reading. The law requires all states to implement statewide accountability systems, and allows students attending persistently failing schools to use Title I funds for supplementary education services.
Occupational Therapy (OT): A service that is offered under Services for Exceptional Children to those children that have active Individual Education Plans that demonstrate a need for occupational therapy to support their needs.
Office of Student Achievement (OSA): Formerly known as the Office of Education Accountability (OEA), was established to improve student achievement and school completion in Georgia. The OSA will produce annual accountability report cards for K-12 public schools and post-secondary education institutions with the implementation of the reform.
Per-pupil Expenditures: Money spent on each student in a given school district. Because public schools are financed in part by local property taxes, there is a disparity in per-pupil expenditures across the state.
Physical Therapy (PT): A service offered under Services for Exceptional Children to those children that have active Individual Education Plans that demonstrate a need for physical therapy to support their needs.
Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS): Programs that impact school learning environments by establishing and reinforcing clear behavioral expectations in order to support high student performance and to reduce behavioral problems.
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT): A practice test for students taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The PSAT is designed to help students identify academic strengths and weaknesses. Professional Learning: A whole range of activities aimed at improving teaching by providing teachers with necessary skills, training and information. Professional development activities range from formal courses and seminars to teacher mentoring and collaboration.
Professional Standards Commission (PSC): The agency responsible for certifying teachers, school personnel and administrators in the State of Georgia.
Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act: The legal foundation for education in Georgia passed into law in 1986 with the goal of improving education. It provides the framework for such things as funding, educational programs, and student and teacher assessments.
Quality Core Curriculum (QCC): The State of Georgia’s mandated minimum guidelines for the curriculum. Objectives are given at each grade level and must be taught. Local systems can add to QCC, but they cannot teach less than mandated.
Reconstitution: Process through which the state oversees a low performing school (school receiving Needs Improvement designation on a school report card for two or more consecutive years) and directs the duties of the school principal until school performance improves.
Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs): The primary provider of staff development in Georgia. Georgia’s 16 RESAs provide leadership development, strategic planning, school improvement planning and other services to teachers and local schools.
Response to Intervention (RTI): Strategic use of research-based interventions for at-risk students.
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): Standardized test taken by college-bound students to gain admission to college. The SAT tests students’ verbal and mathematical reasoning ability.
School Choice: Allows parents to enroll their children in the school of their choice.
School Governance Council (SGC): Comprised of parents, teachers and community representatives at each school.
Section 504: Federal law that prohibits discrimination against disabled students.
Social Promotion: Practice of allowing students who have failed to meet performance standards and academic requirements to pass on to the next grade with their peers instead of completing or satisfying requirements. Social promotions ended in Georgia in the 2003-2004 school year for Grade 3, in 2004-2005 for Grade 5, and in 2005-2006 for Grade 8.
Special Education: Special instruction for mentally challenged or gifted students.
Special Instructional Assistance (SIA): A state funded program for kindergarten, first and second grade at-risk students. It provides additional funding to the regular instructional program to reduce class size, purchase additional teaching materials and involve parents in their children’s education.
Special Needs: A student who has disabilities or is at the risk of developing disabilities that may require special education services.
Student Health and Physical Education Program (SHAPE): A network of partners, agencies and athletic teams committed to improving the health of Georgia youth by offering assistance and opportunity to achieve a greater level of overall fitness.
Student Information System (SIS): A software application developed to manage student data.
Student Support Team (SST): Supports students who continue to experience academic, social or emotional difficulties in their current educational setting after informal strategies have been implemented by the classroom teacher.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): The monthly cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18.
Title I: A federally funded program for K-12 at-risk students that provides additional help on the basic skills. Title I is the largest federal aid program for elementary and secondary schools. The program provides money to school systems based on the number of low income families in each district.
Title II: A federally funded program that provides assistance to state and local educational agencies and institutions of higher education with teacher education programs. Title II funds programs to improve teaching and learning, reform teacher preparation and certification standards and to develop better performance-based assessment and professional development strategies.
Title VI: Part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including schools. Title VI prohibits the denial of equal access to education to students with limited proficiency in English.
Title VII: A federal program designed to improve the English proficiency of bilingual students.
Title IX: Law barring gender discrimination in education facilities that receive federal funds. Title IX cases filed against K-12 schools involve sex equity in athletic programs.
Tracking: The practice of dividing students into class size groups, which exist for the major part of the school day or year, based on the student’s perceived ability or prior achievement and then designing and delivering instruction to each group.
Transition Plan: Plan separate from the IEP that documents goals for a special education student to aid him or her in making the transition from school to work.
Values Education: The process of providing opportunities for all students to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes about the following values specified by the Georgia Board of Education: citizenship, respect for others, and respect for self.
Voucher: A state allocation of money given to parents to allow their children to attend a school of the parent’s choice, either public or private. Georgia does not allow vouchers.
Zero Tolerance: Policies that mandate predetermined consequences or punishments for a specific offense regardless of the circumstances surrounding it.
Sources: Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s “Education-ary”
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As ONE GAINESVILLE, we will inspire, nurture, challenge, and prepare our students as we educate them to be successful in a 21st century global society.
Our students will think critically, act compassionately, work meaningfully, choose wisely, and live joyfully.
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