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Weasel Words

Posted: 2005-07-01

Whenever you see these words connected to education, read carefully and resist much. You are in the presence of what George Orwell called "a catalogue of swindles and perversions."

  • all students

  • skills systematically developed

  • measure student learning

  • you can't manage what you don't measure

  • scientifically-based research

  • scientific methods

  • proven education methods

  • rapid, evidence-driven progress

  • clear, honest, bold data

  • schools, just like any business

  • stronger accountability for results

  • reward positive results

  • clinical settings/practices

  • enriched career advancement structures

  • competitive compensation structures

  • highly qualified teacher

  • preparing students for 21st century/for global economy

  • the knowledge supply chain

  • education as struggle/battle/war

  • education reform

  • rigor

  • stakeholders

  • Ask whoever uses the above terms why the following words are missing.

  • autonomy

  • bliss

  • curiosity

  • democracy

  • esteem

  • fun

  • generosity

  • generosity

  • heart

  • imagination

  • joy

  • kindness

  • laughter

  • meaning

  • neighborliness

  • opportunity

  • pride

  • quirkiness

  • respect

  • spirit

  • tolerance

  • uniqueness

  • virtue

  • whimsy

  • Xanaduness

  • yumminess

  • zeal
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