Glossary

Use tags to group articles on similar topics into categories.

Note: This glossary presents operational definitions of the terms and concepts as they are most commonly used in connection to educational accountability and school reform.

Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

A

Achievement Gap search for term

The difference in standardized test scores across subgroups. The term is most commonly used to indicate comparison between either wealthy students and poverty students or between white students and black students. ODE historically has greatly misrepresented the racial gap. The most critical issue in scoring differences is poverty, not race as ODE has suggested for years. In my first study (2000), when I compared white and black performance controlling for economic class there was no significant difference. The issue is fundamentally one of poverty, not race.

Assessment search for term

A test used to judge something quantitatively. In the school reform movement, it is a usually a code word for standardized test.

Authentic Accountability search for term

Holding someone responsible for those things and only those things within their professional control and decision latitude. (See Pseudo Accountability.)

C

Charter School search for term

Usually for-profit schools operated with taxpayer money, especially funds taken from a charter student’s local public school district.

Common Core State Standards search for term

Known often simply as Common Core, it is a set of standards to be shared by participating states. It uses the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) for assessment of performance. These standards are controversial among many groups. (See The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.)

Confidence Interval search for term

The range of possible actual scores any given test score may have caused by measurement error. Standardized test scores are not precise.

Credibility search for term

The degree to which something is worthy of belief.

CRESST search for term

The National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, a consortium comprised of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) to establish principles for accountability systems.

D

Decision Latitude search for term

The breadth and depth of decisions a professional is allowed to have over what they are responsible for.

Deskill search for term

A term describing any professional worker who is micromanaged and told what to do, at the expense of using their own professional knowledge and making their own professional decisions. (See Teacher Proofing)

Deskilled search for term

A term describing any professional worker who is micromanaged and told what to do, at the expense of using their own professional knowledge and making their own professional decisions. (See Teacher Proofing)

Deskilling search for term

A term describing any professional worker who is micromanaged and told what to do, at the expense of using their own professional knowledge and making their own professional decisions. (See Teacher Proofing)

Discriminating Power search for term

The degree to which a test item separates good students from poor students.

E

Evaluation search for term

Judging the quality of something, usually professional performance.

F

False Proxy search for term

An indicator or number used to represent something else that is not actually representing it credibly. Test scores are false proxies for academic achievement.

Field Testing search for term

Trying out a test to determine its worthiness for use.

H

High Stakes search for term

Something with major consequences for someone.

I

Ideology search for term

A particular point of view about how the world works that is held rather unconsciously and without personal or scientific verification.

Item Analysis search for term

A process used to determine the worth of a test item using such determinations as discriminating power and level of difficulty. It is a very important procedure for teachers doing SLO and having to create pre and post assessments. Not doing an item analysis can put these teachers at great risk due to faulty scores. (See discriminating power and level of difficulty.)

L

Level of Difficulty search for term

The degree to which a test item is too hard or too easy.

Lived Experience Index search for term

A numeric indicator of the quality of life developed by Randy Hoover (2008) to express the overall socio-economic conditions experienced by the student. LEI is the single most powerful predictor of standardized test performance and provides the evidence that the standardized tests used in Ohio’s accountability system are not at all valid. It is a refinement of the presage factor used in his 2000 study.

M

Marginalization search for term

The political effect of micro managing educators to the point that they are no longer treated as central to the process of schooling, having been pushed to the margins of the process. (See Deskilling.)

Measurement Error search for term

The calculated degree of inaccuracy and uncertainty inherent in drawing conclusions from data analysis.

Metrics search for term

Mathematical systems used to measure things and draw conclusions.

Metrics Machine search for term

A metaphor representing the process by which the phony or misleading mathematical claims are made by the reformists. The metrics machine is rigged.

N

Neoconservatism search for term

Name of the right-wing ideological view of education reform which is virtually identical to the left-wing view.  The best example is the meeting of the minds between neoliberal Teddy Kennedy and neoconservative George H. W. Bush that gave us NCLB and all that goes with it.  When it comes to our accountability concerns, there is no significant difference between the views of the two ideologies.

Neoconservative search for term

Name of the right-wing ideological view of education reform which is virtually identical to the left-wing view.  The best example is the meeting of the minds between neoliberal Teddy Kennedy and neoconservative George H. W. Bush that gave us NCLB and all that goes with it.  When it comes to our accountability concerns, there is no significant difference between the views of the two ideologies.

Neoliberal search for term

Name of the left-wing ideological view of education reform. (See Neoconservative.)

Neoliberalism search for term

Name of the left-wing view of education reform. (See Neoconservatism.)

O

OTES search for term

Ohio Teacher Evaluation System—the system for the evaluation of teachers in the state of Ohio. On the student growth side of OTES, it is pseudo accountability at its worst.

P

PARCC search for term

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It is the battery of standardized tests used to assess performance on the Common Core State Standards. It is more testing regimen enabling states who use it to be compared to each other. (See Common Core.)

Predictive Validity search for term

The power of one set of data to predict another set. Poverty accurately predicts standardized test scores.

Presage Factor search for term

(See Lived Experience Index.)

Proxy search for term

An indicator or number used to represent something else in a consistent and credible manner. (See False Proxy.)

Pseudo Accountability search for term

Holding someone responsible for things not within the scope of their control. (See Authentic Accountability.)

R

Reliability search for term

The degree to which a test is consistent across time and consistent across subsections internally. Reliability is moot if the test is not valid. (See Validity.)

S

Socioeconomic search for term

Relates to living conditions in terms of social level and economic level.

Standard Error search for term

The degree of inaccuracy inherent in any test.

T

Teacher Advocacy search for term

The position that holds classroom teachers paramount in the process of schooling, and deserving of being central decision makers in the education of their students.

Teacher Proofing search for term

Procedures imposed upon teachers that are highly mechanical and rigid, overtly disallowing any teacher decision making or use of the teacher’s professional judgment. (See Deskilling)

Tenure search for term

A job classification earned by a teacher who has been judged to possess and apply the qualities of being a good teacher and who has proven that over a specific number of years in a particular school district. Tenure grants the teacher the right to constitutional due process (14th Amendment) before being removed. The determination for eligibility for tenure is set by state law, and it is the local administration who evaluates the teacher to determine if the teacher should be granted tenure. The purpose of tenure is to guarantee academic freedom to teach as they determine appropriate and to protect experienced quality teachers from being fired for capricious and arbitrary reasons. Tenure is central to teacher advocacy.

V

Validity search for term

The degree to which a test truly measures what it claims to measure in terms of the specific purpose for which it is used.

Value Added Model search for term

A mathematical means for measuring the degree of academic progress made by the students of a particular teacher. Value added as a mathematical procedure is neither bad or good in and of itself. However, the assumptions about teaching and learning upon which it is based are entirely wrong. Value added is an example of pseudo accountability.

Vouchers search for term

Money taken from a local school district to fund a student’s enrollment in a charter or other non-public school.