. . . a growing body of evidence is showing that preteen students do better when they can remain in their familiar elementary schools for longer — with better grades and fewer disciplinary problems than their middle-school peers.
. . . An early study tracked hundreds of middle-school-age students in Milwaukee public schools, comparing those who switched to a new school in grade seven with their counterparts in a K-8 school who didn’t have to make any switch. The research found that those who switched had more negative attitudes toward school and lower grades. Girls in particular didn’t recover in middle adolescence (grades nine and 10) when it came to self-esteem and participation in extracurricular activities.
. . . A number of districts that have recently begun converting to K-8 configurations say they have already noticed fewer disciplinary problems among students, as well as an increase in test scores.
Philadelphia is closing middle schools and opening K-8s. (I don’t think “elemiddle” will catch on.)