February 14, 2017

4 Issues faced by the USA Middle Schools

The USA has 9 million plus students attending public middle schools. The term ‘middle’ suggests the intermediary. In America, middle schools are the bridge between elementary schools and high schools. These schools may comprise grades from 6 to 8; so this indicates the phase of the early teens. But research has to say that Middle schools have adverse effect on students’ behavior. Some teens show aloofness, estrangement from school, and less accomplishment.

So, how did the middle school concept begin? What was the aim behind its establishment? History accounts back to the 1980s, when education reformers took a firm decision on supporting the middle schooling concept. So, instead of using the age-old junior high school, they intended to build an educational platform exclusive to young teenagers. The grade system was changed from grades 7 to 9 to grades 6-8 for developing student responsiveness towards this new structure and education practices.

List of Middle Schools in USA

While, this approach has brought about the well-being of middle school students as it has found involvement from dedicated educators, groundbreaking reformers, and private educational foundation; middle schools, in general, have not yet been able to fight the various challenges to their full potential. 4 major challenges in the face of middle schooling are:

  1. Academic progress consistent yet slow

    Since the 1970s, till this date, approximately 70% of the U.S.public-school students in the 8th grade has been failing to acquire higher level of achievement in national tests based on subjects such as Science and Maths. Not only this, Afro-American kids and Latinos have demonstrated low performance in reading and reciting as compared to their white peers. This is irrespective of their parents having college education. Summer programs including reading practicals by schools before the students reach the 6th grade and Math courses after that will surely pull the bar up in developing their cognitive skills, memory and analytical skills.

  2. Not-so positive factors affecting student behavior

    The conditions for learning that can become the major reasons behind the students’ cognition absorbing ability are still very infirm. For instance, social-emotional factors and motivational reasons affect the well-being and academic performance. The signs of students’ detachment from practical and social happenings and surroundings, not only mean low interest in extra-curricular activities, but also mean that their overall mental achievement will be quite less. As per National school safety statistics any physical conflict happening in middle schools can lead to emotional suffering within students which can perturb their academic performance. A school-wide anti-bullying program should be introduced to make them understand social norms and what they should avoid to diminish their antisocial conduct.

  3. Loopholes in the administration and teaching

    It is unfortunate, but over the years, most middle schools in the U.S.A. have had teachers with no major or minor degree or certification in the subjects they have been appointed to teach young teenagers. Their development training is at risk as there is no evidence-based framework of teachers’ training showing their professional development. This evidence-based professional training model should be adopted in order to better subject-specific expertise and pedagogical skills. Principals too lack proper training in disciplinary issues which compresses the time and effort they could invest in other leadership functions. Having discussed roles, especially management roles, principals can foster their managerial responsibilities to create a school environment that contributes to training and learning. (Also see: 5 Reasons Why Middle Schools Should Use Social Media For Education.

  4. Lack of parental support

    The declining parental involvement as students get promoted to middle schools, as per research, shows how the effect of middle schools can be kind of negative on a middle school student’s emotional growth. Middle schools need to build curriculum that includes activities that boost the bonding between the students and their parents. These activities can be payed at home while making child-parent mental compatibility even stronger.

What could be done to bring about a reform?

New Models for Child reform

No Child Left Behind Act brought about states to build school accountability arrangements based on student assessments held annually. Such school reforms give way to professional development training that caters to academic achievements and the mental development of young adolescents. If enforced in full swing, these models will strengthen middle schools to achieve higher levels of laurels that are intended by NCLB for all schools. But, here lies a slight problem, and that is the academic testing proposed may just concentrate on students’ leveling up as per their academic achievements and not so much on their developmental requirements. Though academic excellence depends partly on their development too. Apart from this, proper federal and state backup should make schools and students meet the new reforms. This type and reach of the new middle-grade standards efforts needs the coordinated support of different foundations. Coherence between the right student conditions and institutional improvement will boost student development and educational evolution in the middle schools in America. You will find this more relevant if you check our email addresses of middle school.

If you need progress, you need to accept change and change comes with new thought, and new beginning; which USA is nurturing. K12 Lists encourages this idea with its belief in the American school education system, and that shows in its exclusive finds of email list of middle schools in USA.

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