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Middle SchoolWhat States Are Doing (Additional Resources)
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What States Are Doing
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The Talent Development Middle School Model: Context, Components, and Initial Impacts on Students’ Performance and Attendance - This study describes the Talent Development Middle School Model and presents preliminary findings on the model’s impact on six nonselective, comprehensive middle schools that implemented the model in a northeastern urban school district. According to the researchers, the model had a positive impact on 8th graders’ math achievement but did not produce a consistent pattern of impact on 8th graders’ reading achievement or 7th graders’ math achievement, reading achievement or attendance rates. The report also evaluates these results and proposes next steps in this line of research. (Corinne M. Herlihy and James J. Kemple, MDRC, December 2004)...

Powerful Ideas, Modest Gains: Five Years of Systemic Reform in Philadelphia Middle Schools - Beginning in 1995, Philadelphia’s systemic reform effort, Children Achieving, aimed to raise academic standards, not just for the city’s early adolescents, but for all students. Its architects aimed to demonstrate that every student could achieve proficiency in the three core subject areas of mathematics, reading and science by 2008. In theory, the reform plan appeared to be a good match for what ailed Philadelphia’s middle schools, but in practice, the reforms produced modest gains for middle grades students in reading and science, and made limited headway in addressing the abysmally low achievement of students in mathematics. This report details what happened in middle schools during the Children Achieving reform effort and explains why reforms fell short of their intended outcomes. It is based on research conducted by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education and Research for Action over a five-year period. (Jolley Bruce Christman, December 2001)...

Middle Level Strategies for School Improvement - This study in Washington state investigates middle schools that performed well on the 7th-grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) from 1998 through 2000. This compares successful schools to other schools with similar demographics and characteristics, and investigates strategies that may be linked to success on the WASL. (Washington State Middle School Task Force, September 2001)...

Preliminary Recommendations of the Middle Learning Years Task Force - Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick charged the Middle Learning Years Task Force with the investigation and elimination of declining academic performance among Maryland middle schoolers. One author of an international math and science study alluded to middle schools as an education "wasteland." Task force members represent school systems, education organizations and community and business leaders. While their work is not yet complete, the task force has made preliminary recommendations in three areas for improving education in the middle years. (Maryland Department of Education, April 1999)...

New Teacher Staffing and Comprehensive Middle School Reform: Philadelphia's Experience MS Word - This study examines the problem of teacher recruitment, preparation and retention in the context of schoolwide reform in seven of Philadelphia's 42 middle schools. These schools are implementing the Talent Development Middle School model of Johns Hopkins University's Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR). The study found that many newly hired middle school teachers were not well-prepared to teach these grades or the subjects to which they were assigned. New teachers who had received curriculum coaching and/or who had attended Talent Development workshops and courses were far more likely to say they would like to stay in their current school, at least for the short term. The report provides recommendations for the state, district, principals, and colleges and universities to address the problems facing middle school teachers in Philadelphia. (Elizabeth Useem, Philadelphia Education Fund, September 2000)...

Michigan’s Middle Start Partnership - This partnership began in 1994 as a comprehensive effort to improve the middle grades in Michigan. The project has expanded to the mid-south states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The Michigan Middle Start Partnership involves university teacher-preparation programs, professional-development centers, education organizations such as the state affiliate of the Coalition of Essential Schools and other groups that provide coaching, technical assistance, professional development, and help in engaging the public in thinking about better middle schools. The initiative focuses on schools, as well as on building the district-level leadership and regional partnerships to sustain the effort. (Academy for Educational Development)...

State Licensure Requirements for Middle Grade Teachers MS Word - The following chart is included in “Key State Education Policies on K-12 Education, 2000” and indicates state licensure requirements for middle grade teachers. The report also provides 50-state information on education policies related to time and attendance, graduation requirements, content standards, teacher licensure, school leader licensure and student assessment. (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2000) ...

South Carolina Middle Grades Task Force - In August 1999, Governor Jim Hodges created the South Carolina Middle Grades Task Force to address various issues facing middle schools. The task force was charged with recommending ways to enhance the preservice and continuing preparation of middle school teachers, to strengthen the cadre of middle school principals, and to achieve academic rigor in middle grade schools and promote academic success. The task force’s second report, from 2001, is available online. (South Carolina State Department of Education, 2001)...

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