you're reading...
Education, GERM (Global Education Reform Movement), National Standards, Teachers' Own Words

Flummoxed? Translate your edu-speak here.

flummoxEver wondered what on earth all those phrases, terms and acronyms in education mean?  Who knows their PaCT from their aSStle, their Data Drive Assessment from their GERM?  And just what is Quality Teaching?

I found this fantastic post that makes at least some of it clear.

Below is just a wee sample – pop over to the blog to see the rest.  They are very funny, in an I-laugh-but-I-wanna-cry kind of way.


Assessment (noun): A test made by a corporation and protected from peer review and public scrutiny by intellectual property laws and strict confidentiality agreements.


Data Driven Assessment (noun): A test made by a corporation and protected from peer review by intellectual property laws and strict confidentiality agreements whose purpose is to provide numbers too complicated and nuanced for the general public to understand, but vague enough that they can be molded into a variety of purposes as the need for “data” to support reforms arises.


Reformer (noun): A person who really wants to win an election or get paid by somebody who won an election.


Value-Added Score (noun): The application of a scientific, statistical model designed for predicting outcomes to assessment scores.  A model allows constants to become variables and vice versa.  When applied in real time, in real life, with attached consequences for the resulting data, this becomes a synonym for “self-fulfilling prophesy.”


My addition is this:

National Standards (noun, pl.):  fuzzy benchmarks pertaining to nothing in particular but which allow students, schools and teachers to be judged as failing, okay or adequate depending on how near the country is to an election.


We really need some for New Zealand edu-speak, I think.

Maybe you could suggest more in the comments below?

~ Dianne

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi



  1. Pingback: The SOS Edu-speak Translation Dictionary – part 2 | Save Our Schools NZ - July 7, 2013

Share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Save Our Schools NZ on

Category list:


%d bloggers like this: