Friday, March 19, 2010

New Report on Middle Grades Programs

This week a new report was issued on middle grades reforms. Gaining Ground in the Middle Grades: Why Some Schools Do Better, from the EdSource research lab found that middle grades schools that outperformed their peers had an unrelenting focus on preparing students for the future. The staff adopted a "whatever it takes" stance on student learning. The study did not find a connection between grade configuration or organizational structure and student learning.

Some strategies the report identified include:
• an intense focus on student outcomes;
• shifting the school culture to a focus on preparing students for the future;
• adults are held accountable and take responsibility for student outcomes
• early identification and intervention to keep students on track;
• setting measurable goals for improvement;
• regular and effective communication with students and their families;

The report offers helpful guidance about how principals and other school leaders can work to improve their school. You might want to use it as the focus of faculty study groups or as part of a book study. The entire report is available at the link earlier in this blog.