Educational Acronyms You Should Know

Question: Please help me understand some educational acronyms so that I know what the teachers are talking about. -- Need Vocabulary Expansion

Answer: It always helps to understand what your children's teachers are saying. Whenever a teacher uses an acronym that you don't understand, simply ask for an explanation. Here are few acronyms that might be helpful for you to know:

ACT -- a standardized test for college admission

AP -- (Advanced Placement) college level courses taken in high school

AYP -- (Adequate Yearly Progress) a measure under No Child Left Behind to see if states are meeting proficiency goals in reading and math

ESL -- (English as a Second Language) a program giving special instructions to children who are learning English

G&T -- (Gifted and Talented) a variety of programs that support the needs of exceptional children through accelerated, rigorous and specialized instruction

GED -- (Graduate Educational Development) the process of earning the equivalent of a high-school diploma, often referred to as General Educational Diploma

GPA -- (Grade Point Average) the average grade earned by a student calculated by dividing the grade points earned by the number of credits taken

IQ -- (Intelligence Quotient) a number representing a student's intelligence based on the score of a special test

LEA -- (Local Education Agency) your local school system or county

NAEP -- (National Assessment of Educational Progress) nicknamed the "Nation's Report Card," it compares the achievement of students in different states in various subject areas

NCLB -- (No Child Left Behind) a federal law that holds primary and secondary schools accountable to higher standards

PTA and PTO -- (Parent Teacher Association and Parent Teacher Organization) parent-teacher groups with the goal of helping and improving an individual school, especially through parental involvement

PSAT -- (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) a test for high-school students, usually juniors, to qualify for college scholarships and train for taking the SAT

RTI -- (Response to Instruction) a three-tiered system of identifying students' needs and supplying the appropriate help

SAT -- a standardized test assessing students' verbal, math and writing skills as part of the college admissions process

STEM -- (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) a focus on skills needed to succeed in today's world with the goal of interesting young students in these subjects at an early age

Here are some acronyms used in the area of special education:

ADD -- (Attention Deficit Disorder) the term formerly used to describe an inability to focus and impulsivity, which is now replaced by ADHD

ADHD -- (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) a condition characterized by inattentiveness, impulsivity, hyperactivity or a combination of those characteristics out of the normal range for a child's age or development

IDEA -- (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) a federal law designed to ensure all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education

IEP -- (Individual Education Plan) a legal document that spells out the special-education services a child will receive from a school

LD -- (Learning Disability) a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems, typically reading, writing, listening and speaking

LRE -- (Least Restrictive Environment) the requirement for children with disabilities to be educated with their peers to the greatest extent possible.