One education reform movement I can get on board with is DEM: The Deacronymization of Education Movement. This is a small, grassroots movement located primarily in my house and in room 116 of my school building.
It is not that I seek to eliminate the programs or initiatives for which acronyms stand. Far from it. The point of deacronymization is about recognizing the inherent merit and value that may (may) be present in those very programs and acronyms.
For example: this year, I've been deliberately avoiding talk of "TPEP" in favor of either "teacher evaluation" or better yet, "effective teaching." To me, the essence of TPEP is the promotion and development of effective teaching. The acronym "TPEP," while convenient, enables a teacher to slip into an affliction called TIJOMT, pronounced "TIE-jomt," which stands for This-Is-Just-One-More-Thing, and often precipitates the classic TTSP (TIT-spee), or This-Too-Shall-Pass, which is a widely acknowledged excuse for polite disengagement from what is perceived as the next BTIE (BEE-tie), or "Big-Thing-in-Education" to ride the EP (Education Pendulum).
Think of it this way: If I am making a list of tasks to do today, "TPEP" is a convenient little term that could be listed there, as if it were something I could finish and cross off and be done with. That's easy to do when the OMT is added to an already full plate: we naturally want to find a way to cross the OMT (One-More-Thing) off our list. If I were to write "be an effective teacher" on that list, I would not cross that off and say "Phew! Thank goodness I'm finished being an effective teacher!"
For me the same is true for Common Core. Common Core is not something I "do" one day and then cross off my list. I don't craft "Common Core Activities" that we do in class and then move on. For better or worse, our state has moved to Common Core, and whether that was a good move is not the debate I'm in right now because as an employee I sometimes have to do what my boss says (though, thankfully, if I disagree with it there are clear channels to advocate and try to influence change). When we start throwing around the acronym CCSS, it is very easy to forget what the CCSS is at its heart trying to do. It can become a line item we veto, unless we think of what the purpose of the CCSS is: to promote content literacy. That doesn't mean "reading literature in science" or "turning the PE teacher into a writing teacher." In my view, it means science teachers focusing on helping science students be science literate, and PE teachers focusing on helping PE students be PE literate. That is not OMT, it is what we probably already wanted to do.
TPEP becomes "being an effective teacher."
CCSS becomes "promoting literacy in my content area."
PLC becomes "my team."
PBIS becomes "reinforcing my expectations for students."
...and there are probably many more on each of our lists.
For me, this is how I'm choosing to reconcile this sense of TIJOMT. These don't have to be "one more thing." When I stop and think about it, the core of each of these acronyms is not something I'm not already doing.
Upon hearing this perspective, some of my colleagues nod, some shake their heads, others reply with "but all those are actually one more thing." I choose not to see it that way, and the minute I first made that choice I felt stress evaporate.