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GT Acronyms & Jargon

  • AEI - Accelerated and Enriched Instruction. An office in the MCPS Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs.
  • AP - Advanced Placement.  Program developed by the College Board where high schools offer courses that are equivalent of entry-level college courses.  Students can in some instance earn college credit.  
  • Asynchronous development - A term sometimes used to describe the disparate rates of intellectual, physical and social development of gifted children.
  • Background knowledge - Often used to characterize what the student has learned before even coming to the classroom.  Sometimes used as a way to discuss "privilege."
  • Baldridge - "Baldridge Criteria for Performance Excellence is a framework for continuous improvement aimed at getting the results that are important to an organization."
  • BCR - Brief Constructed Response...aka a paragraph.
  • BOE - MCPS Board of Education
  • Center - Elementary Center Program for the Highly Gifted. "Provides a learning environment for Grade 4 and Grade 5 students that enriches, accelerates, and extends the MCPS curriculum. Designed to meet the needs of highly gifted learners whose needs cannot be met in the home school."
  • Challenge Index - aka the Jay Mathews Challenge Index.  A measurement devised by Washington Post Education writer Jay Mathews to measure the relative rigor of a high school based on the number of students in the senior class who take AP courses.  Blamed for driving MCPS to eliminate honors-level classes, and for increasing numbers of unprepared students in AP classes, who drive up the numbers, but ultimately fail the courses.
  • Cluster Grouping - A group of three to six identified gifted students, usually those in the top 5% of ability in the grade level population, are clustered in a mixed-ability classroom. The teacher has had training in how to teach exceptionally capable students. If there are more than six gifted students, two or more clusters could be formed. Unevenly implemented in MCPS.
  • Criterion Referenced Test - An assessment that compares a student's test performance to their mastery of a body of knowledge or specific skill rather than to the performance of other students.
  • CTY - Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Provides testing, online learning and summer enrichment programs to gifted students.
D - G
  • DCC - Down County Consortium. Includes five MCPS high schools and their feeder middle and elementary schools—Blair, Einstein, Kennedy, Northwood, and Wheaton.
  • DSAC - Deputy Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Gifted and Talented Education Gifted and Talented Education that provides feedback on the implementation of Board of Education Policy IOA, Gifted and Talented Education.
  • EII - Enriched and Innovative Instruction. What AEI used to be called.
  • EG - Exceptionally Gifted
  • EMT - Educational Team Meeting. 
  • Enrichment - Activities that add or go beyond the existing curriculum, in or outside of the classroom.
  • EPGY - Education Program for Gifted Youth. A distance learning program for highly gifted students offered by Stanford University.
  • ES - Elementary School
  • ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages.
  • FARMs - Free And Reduced Meals. Often used as an indicator of the level of poverty in a school community.
  • Flexible grouping - An instructional strategy where students are grouped together to receive appropriately challenging instruction.  True flexible grouping permits students to move in and out of various grouping patterns, depending on the course content. Grouping can be determined by ability, size, and/or interest. 
  • GT - "Gifted and Talented" aka "Accelerated and Enriched" aka "Highly Able Learner." See State of Maryland statute governing gifted education:
  • GT/LD - Gifted and Talent/Learning Disabled. Also known as Twice Exceptional or 2E.
  • Green Zone - (see slide 3) The areas in Montgomery Conty surrounding the Red Zone, and characterized by low FARMS rates, and smaller percentages of minority, ESOL and FARMS students.
H - I
  • Heterogeneous Grouping - Grouping students by mixed ability or readiness levels.  A heterogeneous classroom is one in which a teacher is expected to meet a broad range of student needs or readiness levels. 
  • HG - Highly Gifted
  • High Impact Schools. See "Red Zone"
  • HGC - Highly Gifted Center, Center Program. See above, "Center."
  • Homogeneous Grouping - Grouping students by need, ability, or interest.  Although variations between students exist in a homogeneous classroom, the intent of this grouping pattern is to restrict the range of student readiness or needs that a teacher must address. 
  • HS - High School
  • HSA - High School Assessments
  • IB - International Baccalaureate
  • IEP - Individualized Education Plan
  • InView - Group cognitive abilities test, comprised of five subtests, of which MCPS only administers two as part of the 2nd grade global GT screening. From Hoagies: "'InView does not measure all aspects of cognitive abilities. Since it is intended for use in schools, emphasis is placed on reasoning abilities that are important for success in an educational program.' Elementary level InView is said to have hard ceiling of 141, where gifted is 127+."
  • IQ - Intelligence Quotient.  A numerical representation of intelligence. IQ is derived from dividing mental age (result from an intelligence test) by the chronological age times 100. Traditionally, an average IQ is considered to be 100.
J - M
  • Jacob's Ladder -an elementary school language arts program developed by the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary. The goal is to move students from low level comprehension to high level thinking and analysis of texts.
  • Jr. Great Books - inquiry-based language arts program, developed by the College of William and Mary.
  • "The Label" - The legal requirement that a portion of students be identified as Gifted and Talented. Source of extensive debate and hostility in MCPS.
  • LEP - Limited English Proficiency
  • Level of Giftedness - Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, Profoundly GIfted
  • MAP-R - Measures of Academic Progress - Reading. A computerized adaptive assessment program that provides teachers, students, and parents with an accurate assessment of students' progress in mastering basic reading skills. When administered at regular intervals over time, it is possible to find out whether an individual student, or an entire grade level, is making satisfactory progress in basic skill areas. Teachers can use the assessment results for instructional planning for individual students or an entire class. 
  • MCEA - Montgomery County Education Association. The teacher's union.
  • MCEF - Montgomery County Education Forum. Community group incubated by the MCEA.
  • MCPS - Montgomery County Public Schools
  • MCCPTA - Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations
  • MS - Middle School
  • MSA - Maryland School Assessments
  • MSDE - Maryland State Department of Education
  • MSMC - Middle School Magnet Consortium. The Middle School Magnet Consortium (MSMC) is made up of three schools -- Argyle, Loiederman, and Parkland middle schools. Admission is based upon a lotter process open to all Montgomery County students who are currently in Grade 5.
  • MYP or MYPIB - Middle Years Program of the International Baccalaureate Organization.  See above "IB"
N - R
  • NAACP - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
  • NAGC - National Association for Gifted Children
  • NCLB - No Child Left Behind
  • NEC - Northeast Consortium. The Northeast Consortium serves students in the "base areas" of Blake, Paint Branch, and Springbrook high schools. Each campus offers a comprehensive high school curriculum plus a distinctive 'Signature Program.'
  • PG - Profoundly Gifted
  • PIA - Pain In the Ass. Term introduced into the MCPS lexicon by Board of Education member Patricia O'Neill on April 28, 2009. Describes parents who need not be included on school improvement teams and/or can be ignored.
  • Policy IOA - Policy governing gifted and talented education in Montgomery County. Currently under review.
  • PYP or PYPIB - Primary Years Program of the International Baccalaureate Organization. See above, "IB"
  • Ravens - Short for Ravens Standard Progressive Matrices. Test administered as part of the 2nd grade global GT screening. MCPS uses a cut-off of the 75th percentile, normed to Montgomery County.
  • Red Zone - (see slide 3) A corridor stretching from the DC border through the center of Montgomery County (Takoma, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Rockville, Gaithersburg) that is "highly impacted" by poverty and other challenges, namely it has high numbers of minorities, and high ESOL and FARMS rates.  Be sure to see this newly released report:  “Housing Policy is School Policy: The Academic Success of Montgomery County”
  • RLA or R/LA - Reading Language Arts
S - Z
  • Seven Keys to College Readiness - A major MCPS PR/parent engagement initiative, rolled out in April 2009.
  • SAT - Scholastic Aptitude Test, a national college admission and placement examination. Also administered to middle school students as part of the Talent Search process.
  • SCAT- Test administered by MCPS for admission to the Center and Magnet programs. Developed by CTY.
  • SD - Standard Deviation
  • SES - Socio Economic Status
  • SIP - School Improvement Plan. Part of the Baldridge process. A yearly plan to improve each school based on the input of parents, students, teachers, and staff.  GT advocates have been pushing for all schools to post their SIPs on their websites, and for the SIPs to include distinct GT goals and objectives.
  • SIPPI - Student Instructional Program Planning and Implementation.  The SIPPI pilot was developed following a September 2009 Board update that showed African-American and Hispanic students, along with students from other subgroups, were less likely to be recommended for, and gain access to, accelerated and enriched instruction. In 2009–2010, the SIPPI process was piloted in 31 elementary schools for students transitioning from Grade 2 to Grade 3. Results show that in schools that used SIPPI in 2010, above-level reading recommendations nearly doubled for all racial/ethnic subgroups and recommendations for above-level mathematics instruction also increased in these groups. SIPPI will be rolled out to all MCPS elementary schools in winter and spring of the 2010–2011 school year, with anticipated development of the Grade 5/6 SIPPI in the 2011–2012 school year.
  • SIT - School Improvement Team. The group of people working on developing the SIP. Unless you're a PIA (see above).
  • Telescope - To cover the same amount of materials or activities in less time, thereby allowing more time for enrichment activities and projects that better suit the interests, needs, and readiness levels of gifted students.
  • Tiered Assignment - A differentiated instructional strategy in which all students work toward the same goal, but activities are geared toward each student’s level of understanding.
  • Twice Exceptional - Another term for GT/LD
  • W&M - William and Mary. Curriculum units for gifted students developed by the College of Education at William and Mary College.
  • WISC - Standardized test of intelligence designed by David Wechsler, for use with children and adults. Administered individually, by PhD-level degree in Psychology or Education only.