Education Level: Middle Grades

Overview

Middle Grades
Grades 5-8

Piedmont Middle School, Charlotte

In early adolescence, interventions are critical to move students up the path to academic success and keep them from veering off course. No transition is more important than the often-difficult one from 8th to 9th grade.

Challenge 2020 Goal

Student achievement for all groups in the middle grades will exceed state standards and national averages – at rates that close achievement gaps between groups.

Publication June 201612 pages(16E06)

Challenge to Lead Goals for Education: Refreshed 2020

The Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education: Refreshed 2020 offers six critical goals. They were designed to help SREB state leaders connect measures of student achievement to essential state policies. Each goal includes background information and the steps states need to take to meet each goal in the years ahead.

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Publication Gene Bottoms 201122 pages (11E15)

A New Mission for the Middle Grades
Preparing Students for a Changing World

Report of the SREB Middle Grades Commission

The report of the SREB Middle Grades Commission issues an urgent call for states to improve achievement in the middle grades so  students are ready for success in rigorous high school courses and better prepared to graduate and proceed to college or technical training. A New Mission for the Middle Grades offers a comprehensive roadmap for change,

Strategies That Work
Claudia Rodriguez

MDC Is an Obsession for One North Carolina Teacher

Claudia Rodriguez sums up her excitement about the Mathematics Design Collaborative training with one word — obsessed. “I’m obsessed with the formative assessment lessons (FALs),” the North Asheboro Middle School mathematics teacher explains, referencing the formative assessment lessons she used during MDC training. “The FALs are really so rich in content — in math content and precision — that I love it!”

Strategies That Work
Katrina Zimmerman

Beginning With the End in Mind

Katrina Zimmerman is a science and technology teacher at Turrentine Middle School in Burlington, North Carolina. Zimmerman spearheads STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) at her school and is creating a whole new curriculum for it. She began using the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) strategies in February 2015, adding it as a curriculum tool for her classroom.

Publication 200930 pages(09E01)

A Critical Mission: Making Adolescent Reading an Immediate Priority in SREB States

Nationwide, students in the middle grades and high school are failing to develop the reading and writing skills they need in order to meet higher academic standards. This major new SREB report on adolescent literacy discusses the urgency of the problem in depth and presents specific solutions for SREB states based on the recommendations of the SREB Committee to Improve Reading and Writing in Middle and High Schools, chaired by Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia, the SREB Board chair. The report includes a message from SREB President Dave Spence and status reports on recent state actions on the issue.

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Publication March 201236 pages(12V05)

Improved Middle Grades Schools for Improved High School Readiness:
Ten Best Practices in the Middle Grades

SREB compares 10 middle grades schools that made significant progress in improving reading, mathematics and science achievement with 10 middle grades schools that failed to make progress over a two-year period, in order to discern what actions resulted in the greater improvement. The report identifies the 10 best practices from the most-improved middle grades schools.

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Publication 200948 pages(09E04)

Keeping Middle Grades Students on the Path to Success in High School

This report, part of the Challenge to Lead education goals series, documents the stall of progress in middle grades reading and math achievement. It analyzes results on state assessments and the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) and indicates steps that will help states regain progress in achievement. It also lays out five specific strategies states can use to keep middle grades students on the path to success — from building a better- aligned sequence of math courses, to increasing professional development for middle grades teachers.

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Publication October 201316 pages(13E13)

Get It in Writing
Making Adolescent Writing an Immediate Priority in Texas

This report is a call to action for Texas middle grades and high schools to make writing instruction a priority. Writing is not only a critical skill for employees and citizens; it is also an essential tool for learning academic content in any discipline. Get It in Writing summarizes the status of writing instruction and learning, outlines challenges to progress and lists valuable resources to help with the task, including “Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction.”

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Publication January 201563 pages

Cross-State Findings
State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards

SREB examined the efforts of 14 states to support implementation of new standards. The goal: Document steps states have taken, highlight exemplary efforts,  provide feedback to states and foster cross-state dialogue to inform continuous improvement. 

What successes, challenges and next steps did interviewees articulate?  What recommendations does SREB draw from the study?

Blog post By Jon Schmidt-Davis

Florida Middle School Creates Success Academy

Pinellas Park Middle School is about as challenging a school as you can find in Florida. The state has assigned it a grade of D for the past several years. All of its students receive free lunch. Twenty-three percent of its students have already been in some form of drop-out prevention program prior to enrolling at Pinellas Park.

Publication May 201212 pages(12E02R)

Smart Class-Size Policies for Lean Times

This policy brief summarizes class-size reduction policies across the region, reviews research on the issue, and offers recommendations on how states might make sensible adjustments without jeopardizing student achievement.

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Publication 201226 pages(12E05)

SREB Goals for Education
Challenge to Lead 2020

Organized to address every major point in the education pipeline, the six goals are designed to help state leaders link outcomes to state policies that can make them happen. Each goal is outlined in detail, including  steps states need to take to meet that goal in the years ahead.