Tag Archives: middle school

Canada

Middle schools too disruptive for weak students, studies show
Brown, L.  The Star (10 June 2012)

The Toronto District School Board has decided to eliminate middle (sixth through eighth grade) and junior high (seventh and eighth grade) schools.  The decision is based on findings about the academic achievement of students who are educated in a school housing kindergarten through eighth grade:  “We know students who write the (province-wide) Grade 6 test at the same school they attended for Grade 3 do better than those who are now at a different school — especially in high-poverty areas,” said superintendent of research Roula Anastasakos.  (A recent report from the C.D. Howe Institute has also concluded that students who move to a middle or junior high school “underperform compared to similar students at other elementary schools.”)  Yet, some are concerned about the impact that eliminating middle and junior high schools has on weaker students.  “We’re finding huge negative effects in math and reading for students at the bottom half of the achievement ladder who go to middle schools,” warned University of Toronto economics professor Elizabeth Dhuey.  “We’re not sure why, but the worry is that at age 13 and 14 — often not a great time of life — to add a structural break at school can be bad for students who struggle.”