Links to research and resources.

Mayhem in the Middle
By Cheri Pierson Yecke
Extract from Executive Summary

Schools, states, and districts are returning to the K-8 model of education, the dominant model in the U.S. well into the 20th century. Though some middle schools are high-performing, research from three cities—Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Baltimore—indicates that the traditional K-8 model may produce better outcomes:

  • Students in K-8 Milwaukee schools had higher academic achievement, especially in math. They also had higher levels of participation in extracurricular activities, demonstrated greater leadership skills, and were less likely to be victimized than those in the elementary/middle school setting.
  • In Philadelphia, analysts showed that students in K-8 schools had higher academic achievement than pupils in middle schools. Their academic gains also surpassed those of middle school students in reading, science, and math. Once in high school, their grade point average was higher than that of their peers who had attended middle schools.
  • Baltimore researchers found that students in K-8 schools scored significantly higher than their middle school counterparts on standardized achievement measures in reading, language arts, and math. Students in K-8 schools were also more likely to pass statewide math tests.

The Case for the Elemiddle School
by David L. Hough
First Paragraph

The question that has plagued educational policy makers for years is how to group students too mature for elementary school and too immature for secondary school to maximize their potential for success in school. Should they be in a junior high school housing grades 7-8 or 7-9, a middle school housing grades 5-8 or 6-8, a high school housing grades 7-12, or in some configuration more aligned to the elementary school? While the necessarily equivocal answer is “It depends,” a growing body of research indicates that a specific type of K-8 school, what I call the “elemiddle” school, may be the best answer (Hough 1995).

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