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ERIC Number: ED528788
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Policy Statement on Grade Configuration. Issue 5
National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform
In recent years, several large urban districts, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, and Kansas City, Missouri have converted their middle schools (generally grades 6-8) to K-8 schools in the hope of improving student achievement, attendance, and behavior, while also enhancing parental involvement. The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, which supports all bona fide efforts to improve schooling for young adolescents (ages 10-14), recommends that such efforts be grounded in evidence-based research. Current research on grade configuration, however, is not definitive. More evidence is needed to document the positive outcomes achieved by 6-8 and K-8 schools on young adolescents, as well as by other organizational structures. The National Forum believes that what is most important for the education of young adolescent learners is what takes place inside each middle-grades school, not grade configuration per se. The National Forum has put forth a comprehensive policy agenda for middle-grades education designed to bring about positive and lasting school improvement. This paper summarizes the history and research surrounding grade configuration, along with the Forum's own experiences in identifying high-performing schools that serve young adolescents. These suggest that focusing on changing grade configuration as the solution to middle-grades problems and challenges may not achieve the intended results. [For "Small Schools and Small Learning Communities. Policy Statement. Issue 4," see ED528790.]
National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. P.O. Box 224, Savoy, IL 61874. Tel: 217-351-2196; Fax: 217-351-1068; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform