NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ887751
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
The Politics and Sustainability of Middle Grades Reforms
Friend, Jennifer I.; Thompson, Sue C.
Middle School Journal (J1), v41 n5 p4-11 May 2010
Jennifer's first years as a middle school principal occurred during a time of transformation initiated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act and further intensified by demographic changes within her Midwest suburban district of 25,000 students. In the context of national educational reform during this time period, Tom Erb asked, "Who will advocate for the best interests of young adolescents?". This question held particular significance in the Sunflower School District (a pseudonym), as the superintendent and board of education decided to dismantle certain middle grades structures and practices that had been sustained for 20 years. Schools returned to a departmentalized schedule with stratified academic classes and, during this same academic year, advisory programs were discontinued in favor of a study hall period. In this article, the authors describe how the Sunflower School District fell prey to the "pendulum model" of educational reform efforts, dismantling the interdisciplinary teaming structure despite findings from relevant research studies that suggest teaming is necessary to meet the needs of young adolescents and to achieve academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, and social equity. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Middle School Association. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 800-528-6672; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001