Freshly back from open house at the Jr High I was tickled at first by some of the needless nomenclature changes. Studyhall is now called an "academic preparation period" (thankfully referred to by its more obtuse acronym, "APP". Home Economics (Home Ec) is now "Family and Consumer Science" which, although slightly more descriptive, adds further abuse to the word "Science". The offensive word, Test, has apparently been officially banned and such periodic assessments are now only referred to as "Benchmarks", perhaps in an effort to reduce the abject terror the former word inspired. Of course this only dooms the formerly benign word Benchmark ultimately to the same fate.
Some changes possibly for the better include an almost universal commitment to posting of work assignments, notes, class calendar, and links to more resources on the web making it a lot easier to make up work after an illness or check if there is a test coming up if the kid begins to obviously feign one; and the providing of teacher's email addresses because getting in touch with a teacher by phone was always inconvenient for both parties.