It's hard enough to figure out the acronyms our kids use when they talk, text or email their friends. Educational terminology shouldn't be that complicated. Here are 10 important terms every parent should know. Educational standards - The topics, skills or concepts teachers are required to teach to their students. Standards can vary state to state. For example, fifth grade teachers in one state might be required to teach the solar system as part of the science unit, while fifth grade teachers in another state might be required to teach the properties of rocks and minerals. Benchmarks - Detailed description of skills students should meet at specific times throughout the school year. Usually, these skills are at the core of the curriculum being taught. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) - An individual state's measure of yearly progress toward achieving state educational standards and benchmarks. Adequate yearly progress is the minimum level of improvement that states, school districts, and schools must achieve each year, according to federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. Disaggregated data - Data that allows parents and teachers to see how each student group is performing academically, including minorities, low-income, special education, or students with limited English fluency. Special education - Special instruction provided for students with learning or physical disabilities, tailored to each student's needs and learning style. Inclusion - Also known as mainstreaming, this is the practice of placing students with learning or physical disabilities in regular classrooms. Manipulatives - Three-dimensional teaching aids and visuals teachers use to help students understand mathematical concepts, such as beads for counting, base ten blocks, shapes, fraction parts, and rulers. Multiple-subject credential - A credential required to teach in elementary and middle-school classrooms. It also qualifies a teacher to teach multiple subjects in a self-contained classroom. Self-contained classroom - A classroom in which students share similar academic strengths or weaknesses. For instance, all gifted students or special education students might be in the same classroom. Sometimes the children are all in the same grade level, but other times, particularly when there are a limited number of them, the classroom may contain children spanning more than one grade level, such as grades 4-6. This is also known as homogeneous grouping. National Blue Ribbon Award - The U.S. Department of Education bestows this award to honor public and private K-12 schools that are academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.