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ERIC Number: ED562415
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
Lost in Transition: The Impact of Middle School Transitions on Student Learning Trajectories
McEachin, Andrew; Atteberry, Allison
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
The effect of student mobility on student outcomes has garnered much attention by researchers and policy-makers over the past few decades. The extant research relies on annual tests, typically measured each spring, to estimate the effect of structural moves on student achievement. The current literature does not allow researchers to evaluate whether the negative shock occurs at the start of the school year, or develops over time as students adjust to their new setting. Using a unique data set that includes both fall and spring test scores, McEachin and Atteberry evaluate whether students' fall achievement before instruction occurs, is affected by the structural move, and whether students' school-year achievement growth is affected as well. Preliminary results suggest that students experience a negative shock to achievement at the start of the year. These results have the potential to shed new light on the impact of structural transitions, and implications for policy and practice. While this preliminary work is suggestive that middle school transitions are hard on students--regardless of which grade level they experience them in, more nuanced modeling approaches will more formally compare the subsequent learning trajectories of pre-treatment similar students in relation to if and when they experience middle school transitions. Tables and figures are appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 3; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)