What’s the most overused edu-speak? Informal (and punchy) research

“We will engineer authentic action-items in data-driven schools.”

“We will streamline revolutionary decision-making within the core curriculum.”

“We will strategize innovative functionalities through cognitive disequilibrium.”

No, those aren’t statements created by a team of “eduformers” after pouring over data, research, and discussing solutions to fix the latest reform disaster. And no, those statements aren’t easy to understand. And don’t worry if those statements seem nonsensical…they are!

Here’s why. Those are statements created by an education jargon generator, found here. (Caveat: It’s a time-suck, but great for a chuckle)

In article several weeks ago, Alia Wong of the Atlantic wrote that there is so much education jargon in our conversations, that the message gets buried (and many times waylayed). And sometimes it makes education reporting so, well, boring.

This got me thinking about edu-speak, teacher voice and the media, and we teased the subject out a little bit more in #edugeekchat at the beginning of the month. But I wanted more. I was intrigued. I now had the thought on permanent simmer in my brain.

What is the most over-used edu-speak? What are we hearing too much of, but everyone seems to have a different definition?

So I did a little informal research through social media.

Ladies and gentlemen, here the top 17 pieces education jargon you may never want to hear again (countdown style), from the informal and punchy research lab at Mount Holyoke Programs in Teacher Leadership.

17. Rubric

16. Choice

15. Problems of practice

14. Solutions-based

13. Text dependent

12. Low performing

11. Assessment

10. Reform

9. Common Core

8. Evaluation

7. Value-added

6. Best practices

5. College and career ready

4. Accountability

3. Rigor (my personal least-favorite)

2. Achievement gap

And the winner, thanks to the response of 40 teacher leaders across the United States (drumroll, please)…

1. Data driven.

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