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ERIC Number: ED559291
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Middle Grades: Quality Teaching Equals Higher Student Achievement. Research Brief
Bottoms, Gene; Hertl, Jordan; Mollette, Melinda; Patterson, Lenora
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)
The middles grades are critical to public school systems and our nation's economy. It's the make-or-break point in students' futures. Studies repeatedly show when students are not engaged and lose interest in the middle grades, they are likely to fall behind in ninth grade and later drop out of school. When this happens, the workforce suffers, and the U.S. falls further and further behind in an increasingly competitive world. A key element of achieving success for middle grades schools is implementing the Southern Regional Education Board's (SREB) Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW) 10 Best Practices. They include: Enroll students in an accelerated curriculum; engage students in meaningful assignments and classroom learning experiences; improve students' abilities to read grade-level material and writing; and ensure students receive high-quality guidance and advisement. The MMGW Student Survey is designed to measure the frequency and perceptions of these practices through the eyes of students. Students are asked to report how often they experience proven classroom practices, are expected to complete challenging assignments and are supported to succeed. Previous reports were able to align the MMGW Student Survey responses to student achievement on the MMGW Assessment. However, the MMGW Assessment was discontinued in 2012. As a result, SREB set out to link the MMGW Student Survey responses to achievement measured by state-specific achievement exams to determine the influence of classroom practices on student engagement and success. This report aligns results from the 2012 MMGW Student Survey to each student's state assessment score in reading, math and--where applicable--science from 2012. Forty schools in 11 states provided the requested achievement data. Across these 40 schools, 4,792 student survey responses were matched (by student ID number) to students' assessment scores to measure correlations between students' experiences and perceptions and their subsequent achievement. This group of 4,792 students was diverse: 70 percent were white, and 30 percent were nonwhite; 51 percent were female, and 49 percent were male. The recommendations listed in this report are based on the findings from these survey and achievement analyses. A list of "The 10 Best Practices in the Middle Grades" is appended.
Southern Regional Education Board. 592 10th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30318-5790. Tel: 404-875-9211; Fax: 404-872-1477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Regional Education Board