Download eBook for Free

Full Document

includes corrections

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.


FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback178 pages $27.50 $22.00 20% Web Discount

Young teens undergo multiple physical, social-emotional, and intellectual changes, which have been viewed as setting them apart from both younger and older students. The basic concept of a separate middle school was to better focus on and serve the special needs of children in their early teens. The question is whether middle schools, as currently designed and operated, are performing that function well. Or, as some have alleged, do they unintentionally encourage poor behavior, alienation, disengagement, and low achievement? This monograph is a comprehensive assessment of the American middle school. It presents observations on a variety of very real issues — troubling social climates and associated behavioral problems, teachers who lack subject-matter expertise, parents who seem uninvolved, among others. The authors offer ways of tackling these issues: reassessing the organization of grades K-12; specifically assisting the students most in need; finding ways to prevent disciplinary problems; working with proven professional-development models; helping parents understand the schools goals and methods and how they can help their children learn at home; and exploring how other countries promote the well-being of and provide positive school climates for students of comparable age to support academic achievement.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Goals, Terms, Methods, and Organization

  • Chapter Two

    A Brief History of the U.S. Middle School

  • Chapter Three

    Core Practices of the Middle School Concept

  • Chapter Four

    Academic Achievement

  • Chapter Five

    Conditions for Student Learning

  • Chapter Six


  • Chapter Seven

    Promoting Teacher Competence Through Training

  • Chapter Eight

    Parental Involvement

  • Chapter Nine

    Whole-School Reform Models

  • Chapter Ten

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    Characteristics of U.S. Public Schools Serving Middle Grades

  • Appendix B

    International and National Data Sets

  • Appendix C

    Factor Analysis of Health Behavior in School-Aged Children

  • Appendix D

    Research Recommendations

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Education for Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.