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Should These Education Phrases Be Left in 2015?

According to several education experts, there are a plethora of education buzzwords that should be left in 2015.

“I started considering what education words and phrases should be retired in 2015, because they’re vapid, overused, meaningless, or just plain wrong. I also reached out to several education advocates, journalists, and scholars for their nominees, many of whose initial response was, ‘Where do I begin?’” said Matt Barnum of The Seventy-Four.

For Barnum and eight other education experts he consulted, there are plenty of education buzzwords they wish would go. They’re not alone- many articles surfaced this year of experts who can’t help but roll their eyes when certain phrases are said.

So what phrases made this list?

The first: College and career readiness. We hear this phrase all the time, especially in federal and state policy as legislation is designed to help K-12 students succeed.

For Dana Goldstein, journalist and author of “The Teacher Wars,” this phrase needs to go.

Goldstein says the phrase does a great injustice in its desire to best prepare K-12 students because “college” and “career” are two completely separate things to be ready for.

“We lack sophisticated apprenticeships or workplace-learning opportunities, which is one reason why American 18 to 25-year olds suffer from higher youth unemployment than young adults in places like Germany or Switzerland,” Goldstein says, and part of this is because college and career standards are viewed as one.

Another term experts would like to see go? Failing schools.

“Narrowly defined and unnecessarily divisive,” Barnum says the phrase simply writes a school off due to low test scores without looking at the school as a whole.

“Such scores, though, tell us little or nothing about the quality of the school because they don’t account for where students start at; they also focus too much on test scores, which are important, but don’t tell the whole story,” he said.

Other hated phrases include data-driven, 21st century skills, differentiation and transformational leadership, similarly for defining little and assuming a lot.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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