Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path: A Policy and Practice Brief

By: Robert Balfanz


Research has shown that, particularly in high-poverty environments, students' middle grades experiences are critical in launching them toward achievement and attainment or placing them on a path of frustration, failure, and early exit from the only secure path to adult success—finishing high school. Our challenge is to use our considerable knowledge of how the middle grades can be transformed to enable all students to stay on the graduation path. "Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path: A Policy and Practice Brief" covers the major research findings and shares specific policy and practice suggestions to improve student success.


This policy and practice brief is based on more than a decade of research and development work at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools (CSOS) at Johns Hopkins University as well as direct field experience in more than 30 middle schools implementing comprehensive reform and a long-standing collaboration with the Philadelphia Education Fund and several middle schools that serve high-poverty populations in Philadelphia.

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Achievement GapDropout Prevention

 
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