October-Conference-2013-Making Middle Schools Work

Report
Making Middle Grades Work
Alabama School Boards’ Association
Southern
Regional
Education
Board
Steven K. Broome, Ph.D.
Director State Development, SREB
Lost in the Middle
Southern
Regional
Education
Board

Too few 8th graders score at or above
proficiency on the NAEP in SREB states (28% in
reading and 29% in math in 2011).

More than 1/4 score below basic.

Those who perform at the basic level have
only partial mastery of the grade-level
knowledge and skills needed for high school
success.

Students who lose interest in school in the
middle grades are likely to struggle in 9th grade
and later drop out.
A New Mission for the Middle Grades:
Preparing Students for A Changing
World
A Report of the SREB Middle Grades Commission
To prepare more students for
success in rigorous high
school courses – and,
ultimately, for most students to
graduate and proceed to
college or technical training.
Southern
Regional
Education
Board
SREB Middle Grades Commission Report
The Commission Report:
A Comprehensive Road Map For Change
1) Communicate and clarify the mission in every
2)
3)
4)
5)
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Regional
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Board
6)
middle grades school.
Focus middle grades curricula on literacy and
STEM disciplines.
Identify middle grades students likely to drop
out of school and intervene with increased
learning time and accelerated instruction.
Require middle grades students to complete
individual academic and career plans.
Refocus professional development for middle
grades teachers, counselors and school leaders.
Hold districts and schools accountable for
meeting the middle grades mission.
Stop Doing
What Doesn’t Work
 Stop providing any middle grades students with a
watered-down curriculum taught at a slower pace.
 Remediation does not work. Accelerate learning for those
who need it through extended time and richer instruction
so that all students can meet standards.
 Stop giving students failing grades without
determining what they do not understand.
 Formative v. Summative: Help teachers assess what
student do not understand and support students to meet
higher standards.
Southern
Regional
Education
Board
 Stop accepting small gains in student achievement
in low performing schools.
 Create systems to help schools use proven practices that
can make significant, steady gains for all students.
Priority #1:
Teach in new ways to help students
perform at grade level standards on
Common Core State Standards or
other rigorous standards.
Southern
Regional
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Board
Engaging Classroom Practices
 Middle grades schools should
activate students’ interests
and desire to learn.
Southern
Regional
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 Rigorous core middle grades
standards in literacy and
math should be integrated
into the visual, performing,
physical and technical arts,
where students can be
inspired and engaged in using
reading and math in new
ways.
Priority #2:
Focus middle grades curricula on
literacy in every class to build
students’ ability to read and
understand increasingly complex
texts and on STEM disciplines.
Southern
Regional
Education
Board
Why Is Providing STEM
Experiences For Students So
Critical?
 35-45% of jobs require STEM skills
 Creativity is the basis for a nation’s wealth,
and creativity of American students is
declining.
 Creativity is better predictor of success than
SAT or ACT.
Southern
Regional
Education
Board
 Females continue to be underrepresented in
STEM careers.
STEM Supports Teaching More Students
To Grade-Level Standards



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Give middle grades students more opportunities
to discover their interests and aptitudes by
using math, science and technology as tools
for solving problems.
Place more students on an accelerated
mathematics pathway to ensure more of them
acquire the mathematics skills needed for STEM
careers.
Elevate science instruction to the same level
of importance as reading and mathematics.

Make the science classroom a place where students
use reading and math to understand complex texts,
prepare written and oral reports, and analyze data
from lab experiences.
Priority #3:
Develop a comprehensive system
to accelerate student learning,
identify potential dropouts and
implement targeted interventions to
support all students in meeting
grade level standards.
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Regional
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High Expectations and a System Of
Extra Help and Time
 Hold students to grade-level standards aligned
to readiness standards for high school, college
and careers.
 Organize time and resources to ensure that
students receive the extra help needed to meet
high standards and expectations.
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Regional
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The complete middle grades curriculum
should be focused on accelerating
achievement for all students.
Addressing Students’ Needs:
Accelerate Learning
 Most-improved schools gave much more assistance to
help students meet grade-level standards. Not only did
these schools align their curriculum to higher
standards, they gave the students the extra support they
needed to meet those standards.



Southern
Regional
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Board
Double Dose in Academics – Support classes in addition to
on-level classes during the school day/year
Extended Time – before-, after- and during-school hours,
summer bridge programs, pre-learning, etc.
Relationships – Build school connections through assignment
of mentors to form supportive relationships
The best thing a school can do to keep students on track to
graduation is to develop a comprehensive set of strategies
that includes attention to climate, curriculum, and
academic success.
Early Warning Indicators of Potential
Dropouts (Johns Hopkins)
Student
receives a low
final behavior
grade from a
teacher.
Student attends
school less than
80% of the time.
Student
receives a
failing final
grade in math.
Student receives a
failing final grade in
English.
Robert Balfanz and his colleagues found that more than half
of sixth graders that met any of these criteria eventually
dropped out of school. Balfanz & Herzog, 2005
Priority # 4:
Provide a Range of Exploratory
Experiences, Help Students and Their
Parents Understand Future Career and
Education Options and Guide
Students to Develop Individual
Academic and Graduation Plans.
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Address Gaps Between Student
Aspirations and Reality
Traditional System
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Targeted System
Counseling for college
Counseling for careers
College is the end game.
College is a means to a
career.
College is purposeCollege is “the thing to do”
designed to lead to a
or a cool hang out.
desired career path.
Priority #5:
Focus Professional Development for
Teachers, Counselors and School
Leaders to Continuously Improve
Teaching and Learning.
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Regional
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Actions Needed to Teach More
Students to Grade-Level Standards
Southern
Regional
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 Schools need a longterm professional
development plan
(the Commission
recommends three
years) to improve
teachers’ capacity to
help students meet the
new common core
state standards.
Teachers Working Together
 Provide teams of teachers
with time and support to
work together to
 integrate mathematics and
Southern
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literacy concepts across the
curriculum.
 analyze teacher
assignments and student
work.
 help students succeed in
challenging academic and
exploratory studies.
 work together to complete a
variety of planning activities.
Honeysuckle Middle School
Dothan, AL
Superintendent Tim Wilder and Principal Dwain Scott Faulk
 Non-magnet school of 620 students
 Over 75% of students qualify for free or
reduced lunches
 25% are identified as having special needs and
two-thirds live in single-parent homes.
 107 of 179 6th grade students scored a Level
4 on the ARMT exam in Spring 2013.
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Regional
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 HMS was selected to participate in the
school showcase of the 2013 Alabama Mega
Conference.
Panel Questions
1. What is working really well for you in
targeting at-risk students in the
middle?
2. What interventions are necessary in
order to decrease the number of
students failing their courses?
3. What interventions are necessary in
order to decrease absenteeism?
4. What interventions are necessary in
order to decrease discipline?
Southern
Regional
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Board
5. Are there implications for policies
that school boards might want or
need to consider?
THANK YOU
Steve Broome
Director of State Development
Southern
Regional
Education
Board 28
HSTW and MMGW efforts in
Alabama
Florida
Georgia
Mississippi
New Mexico
Ohio
[email protected]

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