A Lexicon of Learning
What Educators Mean When They Say...
A B C D E F G H I L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z | Table of Contents
Renewing schools with excessively low student achievement by replacing the administrators and most or all teachers. School officials and legislators have begun to use this strategy, usually in large urban school systems, when it appears that other approaches to school improvement are not having an effect.
Teacher unions often oppose reconstitution because it suggests that staff members, rather than social conditions, are primarily to blame for low-performing schools.
The strategy has sometimes been successful, but only when the school system has been able to recruit a strong new leader and unusually capable teachers. Under the circumstances, this is often very difficult.
In testing, an estimate of how closely the results of a test would match if the test were given repeatedly to the same student under the same conditions (and there was no practice effect).
Education intended to remedy a situation; that is, to teach students what they should already have learned. For example, reading classes at the high school or college level are considered remedial because most students learn to read in elementary school. The success of remedial education depends on several factors, including the teacher's approach and expectations, the instructional materials used, and the students' motivation to learn.
A special education classroom where students can go for additional help mastering academic skills. Some schools offer this resource to any student who desires help in a given subject area, but usually students with learning disabilities or other special needs are assigned to the resource room for a certain number of hours each week.
The implementation of new organizational patterns or styles of leadership and management to bring about renewed, more effective schools. The term restructuring was widely used by educators and reformers in the early 1990s but is less common now. It can mean reorganizing the school day or year and changing conventional practices, such as grouping students by age for an entire school year or giving competitive grades. Or it may refer to changing the roles of teachers and administrators, allocating more decision-making power to teachers, and involving parents in decisions.
Specific descriptions of performance of a given task at several different levels of quality. Teachers use rubrics to evaluate student performance on performance tasks. Students are often given the rubric, or may even help develop it, so they know in advance what they are expected to do.
For example, the content of an oral presentation might be evaluated using the following rubric:
Level 4—The main idea is well developed, using important details and anecdotes. The information is accurate and impressive. The topic is thoroughly developed within time constraints.
Level 3—The main idea is reasonably clear and supporting details are adequate and relevant. The information is accurate. The topic is adequately developed within time constraints but is not complete.
Level 2—The main idea is not clearly indicated. Some information is inaccurate. The topic is supported with few details and is sketchy and incomplete.
Level 1—A main idea is not evident. The information has many inaccuracies. The topic is not supported with details.
This document contains some material that was previously published in The Language of Learning: A Guide to Educational Terms, edited by J. Lynn McBrien and Ronald Brandt, 1997, ASCD.