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Accommodations - practices and procedures intended to provide students with equitable access to grade-level content and assessments

Additional Challenges - curriculum and instruction intended to meet the needs of students exceeding benchmarks.

Adequate Progress - describes whether students' response to the current level and type of interventions/challenges is sufficient to meet their learning goals or whether a change is warranted.

Aggregate – the performance/achievement of the total population of learners participating in an assessment.

Behavioral expectations - the specific, positively stated behaviors desired of all students that are explicitly taught, modeled, and reinforced in a school.

Benchmarks - pre-determined milestones of achievement, established periodically throughout the school year, leading towards mastery of grade-level standards.

Bias – prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another.

Building-level problem-solving team - an established collaborative group designed to develop timely and effective strategies and resources for individual students in need of intensive support (also known as a student support team, child study team, or building consultation team).

Collaboration - a systematic process of collective problem-solving about and planning for teaching and learning.

College and Career Readiness – the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction mission to ensure every child graduates from high school academically prepared and socially and emotionally competent for further education and the workplace. This includes proficiency in 1) academic content (knowledge), 2) application of knowledge through skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity (skills) and 3) behaviors such as perseverance, responsibility, adaptability and leadership (habits).

Culture - describes how we live on a daily basis in terms of our language, ancestry, religion, food, dress, musical tastes, traditions, values, political and social affiliations, recreation, and so on. (Singleton, 2006)

Cultural Brokers – individuals who bridge, link, and mediate between groups or persons of different cultural backgrounds for the purpose of reducing conflict or producing change.

Cultural Competence – awareness of one’s own cultural identity and views about difference, and the ability to learn and build on the varying cultural and community norms of learners and their families.

Culturally Responsive Practices – an approach to teaching that recognizes the value of learners’ cultural beliefs and practices and draws upon them to inform instruction, enhance learner self-advocacy and bridge learners’ home and school experiences.

Diagnostic assessment - valid and reliable tools and techniques used to determine the specific nature of a student's strengths and learning difficulties.

Differentiation - the dynamic adjustment of universal curriculum and instructional practices based on the learning needs of students.

Disaggregate – data calculated and reported separately for specific sub-groups or populations (e.g., learners’ economic conditions, race, gender, culture, native language, developmental differences, and identified disabilities).

Discrimination – the unjust or prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups of people based on characteristics such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and ability.

Disproportionality – the over- or under-representation of a given population group, often defined by racial and ethnic backgrounds, but also defined by socioeconomic status, national origin, English proficiency, gender, and sexual orientation, in a specific population category. For example, a child's race and ethnicity significantly influence the child's probability of being misidentified, misclassified, and inappropriately placed in special education programs.

District Capacity Assessment – an action assessment designed to help educational district leaders and staff better align resources with intended outcomes and develop action plans to support the use of effective innovations available through the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN).

Equitable Multi-Level System of Supports – systematically providing differing levels of intensity of supports (interventions/additional challenges, collaborative structures, monitoring of learner progress) based upon learner responsiveness to instruction and intervention.

Equity – Educational equity means that every student has access to the resources and educational rigor they need at the right moment in their education, across race, gender, ethnicity, language, ability, sexual orientation, family background, and/or family income.

Growth Mindset – the belief that intelligence is fluid and develops over time. In contrast, a fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence is an inborn trait that does not change.

Identity – all aspects that make a person who they are including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, ability status, language, religion, and marital status. Aspects of culture combine to provide a sense of identity, a history of how a person or group experience interactions with society.

Implementation Drivers – key components of capacity and infrastructure influencing a program’s success. The core components needed to initiate and support classroom, building, and district level change.

Instructional Framework – a common language and vision for quality teaching shared by everyone in a school district. An instructional framework provides a district-wide picture with levels of specificity to what is taught in all grades and in all subject areas, including the core content, grade level benchmarks, instructional strategies, and assessments. The framework provides curricular and instructional transitions between grades and disciplines within and among district schools.

Intervention - research-based instructional practices and programs used systematically to increase the performance in the universal curriculum of students not meeting academic or behavioral benchmarks.

Leadership Drivers – one component of implementation drivers in which leaders understand the difference between technical and adaptive challenges and implement effective strategies associated with each.

Marginalization – the social disadvantage and relegation to the fringe of a school or district, to put or keep some learners and families in a powerless or unimportant position within a classroom, school or district.

Prejudice – an opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge is attained.

Progress Monitoring - process used to assess students’ academic and behavioral performance, to measure student responsiveness to interventions/challenges, and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions/challenges.

Progress monitoring (for gathering data on intensive interventions for insufficient progress in academics) means a scientifically-based practice to assess pupil response to interventions. Source: Wisconsin Administrative Code sec. PI 11.02(10)

Root Cause – the deepest underlying cause, or causes, of the outcomes being achieved within any process.

Schoolwide Implementation Review (SIR) – an academic self-assessment focusing on either mathematics or reading used by schools to evaluate system implementation and fidelity at the universal, selected and intensive levels available through the Wisconsin RtI Center/PBIS Network.

Screening assessment - valid and reliable measures and processes used to assess students’ current level of performance in relation to grade level benchmarks” that could be used to identify a need for diagnostic assessment to better understand strengths and needs (may also be called universal screener).

Strategic Assessment - formative, benchmark, and summative assessments to provide a complete and clear picture of student progress, student achievement, and instructional effectiveness. For more information, visit Wisconsin's Strategic Assessment System.

Stereotype – a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person.

Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) – a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports assessment to measure fidelity within each tier of PBIS and all tiers collectively available through

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – a research-based set of principles (engagement, access, assessment) to guide the design of learning environments accessible and effective for every learner.

Universal Instruction - the academic and behavioral curriculum and instruction deemed critical, delivered to all students, and expected to meet the needs of most students in a school (also referred to as core instruction, primariy level of instruction or tier one instruction).

Universal Screening Process - a process in which data from multiple measures are analyzed to determine whether each student is likely to meet, not meet, or exceed academic benchmarks or behavioral expectations.


Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2017, from

Singleton, G. and C. Linton Courageous Conversations About Race; A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools. California: Corwin Press, 2006.