Creative Use of Jargon 101

I referred to the closure of Tilden School in a post last week, but you won’t find that term on tomorrow night’s Teaching and Learning Committee agenda. You see, what district staffers have in store for Tilden is actually a “Restructuring of Instructional Program and Redesignation of Facilities.”

I know I keep harping on the dearth of plain English coming out of the central office, but I just don’t understand the purpose behind all of this jargon. Would any concerned parent see the Tilden agenda item and think: “Oh, my special needs child might have to go to a different school next year, but that’s OK, because her school isn’t being closed. It’s just being redesignated”?

Anyhow, you can learn all about this restructuring and redesignation — and what it really means — at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, at the school board meeting room. It’s estimated to cost $700,000 (See the presentation here.) Also on the agenda are charter renewals for Oasis High School and Monarch and Millsmont academies.

Other school board committee meetings this week:

Tuesday – Finance and Human Resources, 5 p.m.

Wednesday – Facilities, 5 p.m.; Rules and Ethics, 6:30 p.m.; Oakland Athletic League, 7:30 p.m. a.m. (the OAL meeting is at 900 High St.)

Thursday – Audit, 6 p.m.

You can find the agendas posted on OUSD’s legislative calendar.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Michael Moore, Sr.

    The OAL Meeting is at 7:30 AM. @ 900 High Street

    OAL Commissioner

  • Katy Murphy

    Thanks for the catch, Michael.

  • Jose, Former Student


    My professor last semester said the public is often deceived by numbers.

    Now, we can say the OUSD central office deceives parents with the English Language.

    What do you expect them to tell parents the truth?

  • John

    Katy observed: “I know I keep harping on the dearth of plain English coming out of the central office, but I just don’t understand the purpose behind all of this jargon.”

    Katy, you’re obviously an educated person which handicaps your ability to appreciate the complexities of education policy prose, best understood by the school district office Doctors and Masters of Education who excrete it, eat it, and feed it to parents and other “stakeholders” they’re pretending to effectively communicate with.

    The hallmark of an accomplished educrat is the “ability” to communicate in a vague, wordy, sometimes incomprehensible manner that the educated and uneducated find annoyingly difficult to understand and easy to abandon. The puking pens of accomplished educrats evidence a pseudo intellectual superiority over all, including ‘spell check.’ It is the written equivalent of rancid sausage that community “stakeholders” must stomach in their involuntary pursuit of complex answers to simple questions.

    While OPS exercises care to translate forms, informational bulletins, and other documents for Oakland’s diverse language population. Unsurprisingly, no effort is made to translate its bull shit into understandable simple language; which of course would defeat its meaningless meaningful purpose.

    I assume I’ve made myself perfectly clear on this issue, if not I have the education credentials to excuse it.

    I should have gone to school with Nextset.

  • Nextset

    John: Here’s a follow-up on your thoughts above.

    The educrats will continue to destroy education until external forces drive them from their posts. The increased use of Jargon is only one symptom of their altered reality.