Archive for the ‘middle schools/grade configuration’ Category

New study: Boon in Algebra I in middle school doesn’t lead to higher math performance



A new study suggests pushing more kids into Algebra I in middle school may not pay off. (AJC photo)
A new study suggests pushing more kids into Algebra I in middle school may not pay off. (AJC photo)

A new Brookings study that is part of the annual Brown Center Report on American Education suggests that states have not seen the academic boost they expected from introducing Algebra 1 to a broader range of students in middle school.

This practice has been widely embraced in Georgia under the assumption that Algebra 1 in middle school better readies students for the more rigorous math now being taught in high school.

The study by researcher Tom Loveless seems to end up in the place that much education research does: The concept may haven been good in theory, but the execution stumbled because the Algebra I  was watered down to accommodate weaker students who normally would not have qualified for advanced math in middle school.

According to Education Week: (This is an excerpt. Please read full piece before commenting.)

A new analysis, however, suggests that increased …

Continue reading New study: Boon in Algebra I in middle school doesn’t lead to higher math performance »

Anybody out there want to rethink middle schools?

grabarart0920Regular Get Schooled readers know that I have doubts about the efficacy of the middle school model.

Despite decades of experimentation and refinement, middle school still doesn’t work in most places, leading me to conclude that the problem is not with the execution of the concept but with the concept itself.

In 2011, a Harvard study found that students moving from fifth grade to a middle school setting suffer a sharp drop in academic performance in reading and math, compared to peers who attend k-8 schools. The findings of the Harvard study confirmed an earlier Columbia University study.

Writing in Education Next, Harvard researchers Martin West and Guido Schwerdt explained:

Our results cast serious doubt on the wisdom of the middle-school experiment that has become such a prominent feature of American education. We find that moving to a middle school causes a substantial drop in student test scores (relative to that of students who remain in K–8 schools) the first …

Continue reading Anybody out there want to rethink middle schools? »