K-8 and 5-8 or 6-8. Grade Configuration: Does it Matter?. Prepared for New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) by Robert C. Spear Ed.D. Executive Director 460 Boston Street #4, Topsfield MA, 01983, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nelms.org.
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Does it Matter?
New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS)
by Robert C. Spear Ed.D. Executive Director
460 Boston Street #4, Topsfield MA, 01983, email@example.com, www.nelms.org
From Programs and Practices in K-8 Schools: Do They Meet the Educational Needs of Young Adolescents?
By C. Kenneth McEwin, Thomas S. Dickinson, and Michael G. Jacobson
(2004, National Middle School Association, Westerville, Ohio):
arts at an average of 16 minutes more
per day than did middle schools.
schools are likely to spend more time
in core subjects and less time in
middle schools reported having
interest class or minicourse
likely to have ten planning periods
per week (94%) than those teaching
in middle schools (41% of schools).
middle schools providing five
common planning periods per
week are almost identical
(39% and 40% respectively)
middle schools to have smaller
teams at all grade levels.
and 48% from middle schools indicated
having advisory programs
have same percentage of
interscholastic sports programs
variety of sports.
organization patterns that included separately
organized elementary, middle, and senior high
schools. (2000 study)
has long been debated, large-scale studies
examining the relationship between grade
configuration and student achievement
have not been conducted ...
is associated with the highest
achievement scores remains unanswered
at this point.
structure do worse than other students
once the effects of public versus
private school are controlled.” (Lord and Midgley (1991)
(Eccles, Lord, and Midgley (1991)
separately organized middle schools
per se may not make
are to often being made based
primarily on anecdotal information
and a very limited research base...
…instead of school districts doing
the difficult and crucial work of
making middle schools what they
could and should be.
“This is another attempt at a magic
bullet, which is much easier than
getting down to the really hard work
of preparing teachers to work with
this age group, having strong curricula
for this age group, and having
personalized schools that hold high
expectations for all kids and also meet
their developmental needs.” Joan Lipsitz
“The positive results from research
offer clear direction for how to
improve middle schools. Rather than
abandoning them for a different
organization that seems less likely
to serve young adolescents well,
educators should stay with [fully]
implementing the middle school concept.”
Only 16% of K-8 principals believed
that the K-8 organization they were
currently heading was ideal for young
adolescents, while 84% favored
separately organized middle schools.
The degree of implementation of
interdisciplinary team organization
at schools enrolling young adolescents
is important because of the high
correlation between the use of
this organizational plan and
The bottom line is that nothing
surfaced in this study to lend
support to moving young adolescents
from middle schools to K-8 schools.