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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Seeking the best euphemism for failure



Educators in Massachusetts don't seem to like that their state board of education deems some schools as "underperforming" or, worse, "chronically underperforming." It makes the public think that the students aren't learning and the teachers aren't teaching.

So the teachers and superintendents are pushing for new phrases, such as "priority one," for the schools that need the most attention, the AP reports. Maybe that would help morale, they suggest.

Many see the debate as ridiculous. Said former board chairman John Silber, "Changing the name doesn't change the reality."

A similar concept has gained little traction in Florida. Sen. Frederica Wilson, a Miami-Dade educator, has pushed for five years to eliminate the state's A-F school grading system for like reasons. Her bill failed to make it out of committee, again, earlier this month.

It remains unclear where the idea is headed in Massachusetts. "We generally agree that this is not hugely consequential," board chairman Paul Reville told the AP. "It's a symbolic action."

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:37am]


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