backtoschoolJust in time for back to school comes the Glossary of Education Reform.

The glossary is the work of the Great Schools Partnership, the Education Writers Association, and the philanthropic Nellie Mae Education Foundation. It was "created to help journalists, parents, and community members -- anyone with an interest or investment in our public schools -- understand some of the major reform concepts being discussed by educators, researchers, and policy makers."

As in any specialized field, education has its own set of terms and acronyms that can confuse even those immersed in them, and it's not unusual to have disagreement between and among educators as to what a particular term does or does not mean or include. Don't believe me? Just look at what the glossary's authors have to say about "curriculum" or "21st century skills"! So while it may have been assembled with outsiders in mind, this online resource could also be of great value to educators as well.

I appreciate the way the glossary's authors have constructed its entries, often not just defining a particular term but explaining what may be controversial about it within the so-called movement of education "reform" (a term the glossary's authors "are not big fans of") and where different sides come down on the relevant issues.

They also include a rather lengthy list of "forthcoming terms" that will be added to the glossary at a later date, and they make it easy for their readers to offer comments and suggestions, as the glossary is published under a Creative Commons license. Clearly this is a resource built with the knowledge that the most reliable constant in education reform is change.