Elemiddle schools

EdWonk, a junior high teacher, links to a Wall Street Journal story on the growing popularity of K-8 schools.

. . . 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.)

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  1. I went to a K-8 school so I’m glad that other school systems now see the benefits. The K-8 system allows the preteen students to act as leaders to the younger students. It gives them their first sense of responsibility in a real world situation.

  2. mike from oregon says:

    Good Lord, is the world finally righting itself or is this just another case of things coming full circle?

    I went to a K – 8 school, both my daughters went to K – 8 schools (yes, all the schools were Catholic). I never understood why the public schools had separated out and come up with ‘middle school’ – except that it made for more administrators, separate programs, blah, blah, blah. I’d heard the arguments that the kids were older, etc. Never made sense to me, the only reason the kids in middle schools felt special or different was because someone else had MADE it an issue.

    I just wish all middle schools were eliminated.