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ERIC Number: ED499797
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Pages: 81
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Mayhem in the Middle: How Middle Schools Have Failed America--And How to Make Them Work. Compact Guides to Education Solutions
Yecke, Cheri Pierson
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
The author defines "middle schoolism" as "an approach to educating children in the middle grades (usually grades 5-8), popularized in the latter half of the 20th century, that contributed to a precipitous decline in academic achievement among American early adolescents." She argues that many middle schools are on the right path, but those that embraced middle schoolism have lost their way. It is time, she says, for a thorough reform of middle grade education, including a new focus on high standards, discipline, and accountability for student achievement. This report chronicles the history of the middle school movement, including its radicalization, then presents other options, such as the K-8 model, for communities to consider for students in the middle grades. After a foreword by Chester E. Finn, Jr., a preface by the author, and an introduction, this report is divided into the following chapters: (1) How We Got Muddled: History of the Middle School; (2) K-8 Reconsidered; (3) Hamilton Elementary-Middle School, Baltimore; (4) Humboldt Park K-8 School, Milwaukee; (5) Julia De Burgos School, Philadelphia; and (6) Conclusions and Recommendations. (Contains 5 tables and 71 endnotes.) [This report was produced by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.]
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland; Pennsylvania; Wisconsin