ERIC Number: ED451930
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan-25
Reference Count: N/A
On the Road: In Search of Excellence in Middle Level Education.
Peterson, David W.
Using the recommendations in "Turning Points 2000" as a point for comparison, this study examined how middle level instruction was being implemented in over 50 middle schools in 10 states, focusing on the balance between equity and excellence. Middle schools participating in the study were located mainly in suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Rochester and Syracuse, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando, Florida. The schools had received excellence awards, were feeder schools for highly rated high schools, or were in districts widely regarded as successful in their state and region. Information on the middle schools was collected through Web site examination and on-site visits with the principal, staff, and students. Among the main findings of the study are that the grades 6-8 structure was the most common, and almost all schools had a 7-hour day for students. Sixty percent of schools used an 8-period day. Longer instructional periods promoted innovative teaching and reduced discipline problems. There was much variety in how schools incorporated the traditional teacher-based advisory program. Schools found ways to build positive connections between adults and students, including extended off-campus retreats and field trips, service learning, and looping. The vast majority of middle schools organized teachers and students into teams. Team effectiveness was related to common planning time for teachers, team stability, and systematic staff development. Tracking was used frequently, especially in mathematics and language arts. The themes of building trust with staff and creating a shared vision were commonly reported by principals. All the schools had some mechanism of including parents in leading the school. (Contains 24 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Educational Administration, Educational Quality, Equal Education, Excellence in Education, Institutional Characteristics, Leadership, Middle School Students, Middle School Teachers, Middle Schools, Principals, Program Descriptions, Scheduling, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship, Team Teaching
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A