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August 11, 2016

Your glossary for 2016-2017 education news


Over the next 10-12 months, you will see a lot of news articles, blog posts and speeches featuring a variety of education-related acronyms. Here is our handy guide to help you navigate this often-confusing landscape of letters.

APS - Atlanta Public Schools - This acronym is used a lot in newspapers and blog posts about education districts in Georgia and refers to the entire school district for City of Atlanta.

ASD - Achievement School District - This is the Tennessee's state district for the lowest 5% performing public schools, modeled, but adapted after the Louisiana Model Recovery School District (RSD, see below).

DOE - Department of Education - For state news and information, this is Georgia's Department of Education which is responsible for K-12 education in our state. The Department oversees 180 school districts around the state. When referencing federal news, "DOE" refers to the national U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

ESEA - Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 - The federal law that established federal funding for mandatory elementary and secondary education in the U.S. The Act must be reauthorized or extended every five years.

ESSA - Every Student Succeeds Act - Passed in 2015, this is the most recent update to the ESEA (see above). State's Departments of Education must submit plans to the federal government in 2016 detailing how they will implement ESSA. Public and community input is required in the development of each state's plan. In addition to more flexibility on programs for states, there is a heavy emphasis on sub-groups such as English Learner students, students with disabilities and other typically smaller-population groups of students within a school district.

NCLB - No Child Left Behind - The 2001 update to ESEA (above) and became effective in 2004. This update to ESEA included a wide variety of accountability measures on student testing and steps states must take in dealing with low-performing schools.

OSD - Opportunity School District - OSD is Georgia's proposed version as a hybrid of both Louisiana's RSD and Tennessee's ASD. Passed by the legislature in 2015, it must be approved by Georgia voters on the November 8, 2016 election ballot.

RSD - Recovery School District - This is the name of Louisiana's specially-created district for their lowest-performing schools. Similar to a "Turnaround" District (see below) except this District removes an individual school from its current school district and places that school under the direction of a separate RSD Superintendent. Though little used before 2005, RSD became a very large district after Hurricane Katrina as nearly the entire New Orleans school district was put into the RSD along with several other school districts from across the state.

Turnaround School - A typically low-performing school, identified by a state department of education from student test scores, that is being targeted by the district or state for intervention tactics such as leadership replacement or development, direct student intervention programs, re-focused curriculum or other intervention methods developed by the state or district.


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