Study Links Academic Setbacks to Middle School TransitionBy Sarah D. Sparks
While policymakers and researchers alike have focused on improving students’ transition into high school, a new study of Florida schools suggests the critical transition problem may happen years before, when students enter middle school.
The study, part of the Program on Education Policy and Governance Working Papers Series at Harvard University, found that students moving from grade 5 into middle school show a “sharp drop” in math and language arts achievement in the transition year that plagues them as far out as 10th grade, even risking thwarting their ability to graduate high school and go on to college. Students who make a school transition in 6th grade are absent more often than those who remain in one school through 8th grade, and they are more likely to drop out of school by 10th grade.
“I don’t see eliminating the transition at the high school level as important or beneficial as eliminating the transition at the middle school level,” said Martin R. West, an assistant education professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a co-author of the study….
To read more, visit Education Week.