Showing posts from February, 2012

Against Undermining Middle Schools (Steve Guditus)

In "The Middle School Plunge,"authors Martin West and Guido Schwerdt hypothesize all the reasons under the sun that middle school is a plunge in student achievement in math and reading.  For sure, the change in standard deviation of math and reading achievement is concerning, however students are more than their math and reading scores.  In a time fraught with social pressures, emotional turmoil, parental and peer pressures and increased academic rigor, middle school is a uniquely special place.  Students in middle school are unlike any other age group of students, which is why organizations such as the Association for Middle Level Education exist.  What Mr. West and Mr. Schwerdt fail to address (and perhaps they did measure this but did not report out on it) is the impact of structure of schools.

Many middle schools are in name only - they follow the old "junior high model" of scheduling students as though they are mini high school students.  Providing students wi…