"ABCs School Accountability Program" A restructuring plan for public education in North Carolina developed by the Department of Public Instruction as a directive from the General Assembly. Following a proposal and a year of piloting, the General Assembly in 1996 approved the State Board of Education's plan for "Accountability," "Basics," "Local Control," and "Safety" - the ABC's."
Academic Tracking The practice of grouping students according to ability and placing these students into separate curricula tracks or courses. The tracks cover distinctly different material, are binding across all academic subjects, and often lead to different destinations upon graduation from high school.
Academically or Intellectually Gifted A category of students who perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishments when compared with others their age, experience or environment. The students exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both intellectual areas and specific academic fields. They require differentiated education services beyond those ordinarily provided by the regular educational program. Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across the economic strata, and in all areas of human behavior.
Add-on Licensure A type of provisional license that may be issued to individuals who hold a license in one field and are seeking an additional license in another field.
Advisory Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps A North Carolina Commission appointed in 2000, and charged with advising the State Board of Education, the state superintendent, and local school systems on ways to raise achievement for all students and close the gaps that exist in student achievement outcomes and student participation in the instructional process.
Alternative Routes to Certification A non-traditional approach to licensure restricted to those persons who hold a Bachelor's Degree and seek certification only, add-on certification, renewal credit, and/or those in a Lateral Entry appointment. The lateral entry license is a provisional with annual mandates.
Arts Education A K-12 Sequential program in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study that includes the following four curriculum areas: dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts.
Authentic Assessment A method of analyzing student performance using clearly defined objectives, clear achievement expectations, and methods of assessment that reflect what a student knows.
Basic Education Program (BEP) 1985 legislation that began a more comprehensive view of basic educational programming in the public schools of North Carolina. It included a K-12 curriculum plan, recommended staffing, support programs, class size, definition of an instructional day, and rigorous standards for student achievement. Though never fully funded or implemented, the BEP created a beginning framework for school reform in the state.
Block Scheduling A method of class scheduling that provides more time than the traditional "high school period" for student learning. There are a variety of approaches such as "Alternating Day," "Semester Block," and "Embedded Schedule."
Charter School North Carolina public schools that operate under a charter granted by the State Board of Education. The Charter allows the school to receive public funds, but the school may operate without many of the policies, procedures, and guidelines that govern traditional public schools.
Closing the Gap Reducing the differences in the academic performance among students such that lower performing students make greater academic gains while all students continue to grow and achieve at higher levels. In North Carolina, the Department of Public Instruction has a section devoted to research and best practices and implements the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps.
Cooperative Learning A type of instructional strategy where students work cooperatively and collaboratively in learning teams. To be successful in having students complete group tasks within a coorperative framework, there must be: clear set of specific student learning outcome objectives; clear and complete set of task-completion directions or instructions; heterogeneous groups; equal opportunity for success; positive interdependence; face-to-face interaction; individual accountability; and post group reflection (or debriefing) within group behavior.
Differentiated Instruction An approach to teaching that involves content, activities, and products developed in response to varying learner needs. It targets instruction using a variety of strategies such as: tiered assignments, learning centers, contracts, compacting, independent study, and learning buddies. A variety of student groupings may be used including learning in pairs, triads, quads, student-selected groups, teacher-selected groups, random groups, and as a whole class.
Diversity An acknowledgement and recognition of, and appreciation for, the differences among the variety of students' backgrounds which leads to improved achievement for all students.
Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) A landmark 1965 legislation that provided federal funding for education on a massive scale. It was reauthorized as the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001" with specific regulations and mandates that address student achievement, teacher certification and quality, and other critical issues.
Heterogeneous Grouping A method of organizing for instruction that groups students without respect to performance levels or current achievement.
High-Stakes Testing The use of large-scale achievement tests as instruments of educational policy. States and school districts are using such tests to make decisions on promotion/retention; program, class, or school assignment, and graduation.
Homogeneous Grouping A method of organizing for instruction that groups students of similar performance levels or current achievement.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997(IDEA) Federal legislation that includes components that strengthen academic expectations and accountability for the nation's 5.4 million children with disabilities.
Induction A formalized process that takes a beginning teacher and provides him/her with a mentor, support, and training through the initial years of teaching.
Initial Licensure Program A North Carolina initiative to provide support and assessment for beginning teachers. A three-year program is uniquely developed in each school district and may include such activities as ongoing staff development, mentor support, and extra days of employment.
Integrated Curriculum A type of curriculum that includes goals and objectives from more than one discipline (i.e., Math and Social Studies, Science and Math, etc.). This approach to curriculum recognizes that knowledge is interconnected and that singlesubject disciplines are artificial boundaries in learning.
Interdisciplinary Teaching A method of teaching that applies the knowledge, principles, and/or values of more than one area of study. These disciplines may be related through a central theme, issue, problem, process, topic, or experience.
Lateral Entry A policy that allows skilled individuals outside of the public education system to enter the teaching profession. While enrolled in an approved program, a lateral entry license entitles the holder to be employed by and serve as a teacher in the North Carolina schools. Lateral entry license holders must meet program and testing requirements within five years.
Learning Disabled (LD) Students that have various processing disorders presumed to be intrinsic to an individual (e.g., acquisition, organization, retrieval, or expressions of information). For the purpose of special education services, school-age students classified as learning disabled are those who, after receiving instructional intervention in the regular education setting, have a substantial discrepancy between ability and achievement.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Student Students whose language is other than English and scores below "superior" on a language proficiency task.
Mentor A person that has demonstrated mastery of the critical competencies for a job role. Public school mentors assist initially-certified persons towards mastery of specific educational competencies. Through modeling, relationship building, observation/diagnosis, prescription, coaching, and reflection.
Middle School Licensure A license issued in subject concentration(s) and valid for teaching in grades 6 through 9. For middle grades licensing, an individual's university/college education should include completion of at least two of the four following subject areas: English language arts, mathematics, science, and/or social studies.
National Board Certification Certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that recognizes exemplary teaching. An extensive portfolio and testing process is involved in earning this recognition.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) A sweeping reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) that redefines the federal role in K-12 education. It is based on four basic principles: stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.
North Carolina Standard Course of Study North Carolina's mandated curriculum for the public schools. It includes the subject or skills areas of arts education, English language arts, guidance, healthful living, information/computer skills, mathematics, science, second language studies, social studies, and career-technical education.
School Improvement Plan A detailed, annual plan developed by a local School Improvement Team (administrators, instructional personnel, instructional support staff, and parents of children enrolled in the school) that addresses academic achievement, parent involvement, school safety, and other components of school success. Individual School Improvement Plans are a legislative mandate.
Socratic Dialogue/ Method A method of teaching in which the teacher asks questions that lead students to examine the validity of a statement. This process leads to a deeper examination of course content.
Teams A group of teachers who share a group of students for most of the instructional day.
Vertical Articulation A method of moving students through the K-12 educational system. Vertical articulation refers to careful examination and discussion about students' experiences in different grade levels in an effort to reduce overlap in content.
Workforce Development Education (Career and Technical Education) A competency-based program in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study offered in eight program areas that help empower students for effective participation in an international economy as world-class workers and citizens. The area of study has been previously called Vocational Education.
Young Adolescent Youth between the ages of 10 & 15 who are characterized by differences in intellectual, moral, physical, educational/ psychological, and social development.


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