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Southern Regional Education Board Making Middle Grades Work Alabama School Boards’ Association Steven K. Broome, Ph.D. Making Middle Grades Work Alabama.

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Presentation on theme: "Southern Regional Education Board Making Middle Grades Work Alabama School Boards’ Association Steven K. Broome, Ph.D. Making Middle Grades Work Alabama."— Presentation transcript:

1 Southern Regional Education Board Making Middle Grades Work Alabama School Boards’ Association Steven K. Broome, Ph.D. Making Middle Grades Work Alabama School Boards’ Association Steven K. Broome, Ph.D. Director State Development, SREB

2 Southern Regional Education Board Lost in the Middle  Too few 8 th graders score at or above proficiency on the NAEP in SREB states (28% in reading and 29% in math in 2011).  More than 1/4 score below basic.  Those who perform at the basic level have only partial mastery of the grade-level knowledge and skills needed for high school success.  Students who lose interest in school in the middle grades are likely to struggle in 9 th grade and later drop out.

3 Southern Regional Education Board A New Mission for the Middle Grades: Preparing Students for A Changing World A New Mission for the Middle Grades: Preparing Students for A Changing World A Report of the SREB Middle Grades Commission To prepare more students for success in rigorous high school courses – and, ultimately, for most students to graduate and proceed to college or technical training. SREB Middle Grades Commission Report

4 Southern Regional Education Board The Commission Report: A Comprehensive Road Map For Change 1) Communicate and clarify the mission in every middle grades school. 2) Focus middle grades curricula on literacy and STEM disciplines. 3) Identify middle grades students likely to drop out of school and intervene with increased learning time and accelerated instruction. 4) Require middle grades students to complete individual academic and career plans. 5) Refocus professional development for middle grades teachers, counselors and school leaders. 6) Hold districts and schools accountable for meeting the middle grades mission.

5 Southern Regional Education Board Keys to Middle Grades Improvement  Schoolwide focus on academic performance that advances students’ creativity and problem- solving skills  Principals centered on instructional leadership to help teachers focus on continuous improvement  Teacher learning teams that identify and solve problems  On-going, effective professional development  Using data to support quality learning aimed at helping students meet high school readiness standards  Increased district capacity to support effective middle grades schools

6 Southern Regional Education Board Stop Doing What Doesn’t Work  Stop providing any middle grades students with a watered-down curriculum taught at a slower pace.  Remediation does not work. Accelerate learning for those who need it through extended time and richer instruction so that all students can meet standards.  Stop giving students failing grades without determining what they do not understand.  Formative v. Summative: Help teachers assess what student do not understand and support students to meet higher standards.  Stop accepting small gains in student achievement in low performing schools.  Create systems to help schools use proven practices that can make significant, steady gains for all students.

7 Southern Regional Education Board Ensuring Success: What Must Happen  Create an intensely engaging school experience that helps middle school students focus on the future (hands-on activities, creative thinking and problem solving, etc.)  Change our thinking and language from an ability-based learning model to an effort-based learning model.  Stop remediating students to below grade level standards and provide all students instruction and support to master grade level standards.

8 Southern Regional Education Board Priority #1: Teach in new ways to help students perform at grade level standards on Common Core State Standards or other rigorous standards.

9 Southern Regional Education Board Engaging Classroom Practices  Middle grades schools should activate students’ interests and desire to learn.  Rigorous core middle grades standards in literacy and math should be integrated into the visual, performing, physical and technical arts, where students can be inspired and engaged in using reading and math in new ways.

10 Southern Regional Education Board Priority #2: Focus middle grades curricula on literacy in every class to build students’ ability to read and understand increasingly complex texts and on STEM disciplines.

11 Southern Regional Education Board Why Is Providing STEM Experiences For Students So Critical?  35-45% of jobs require STEM skills  Creativity is the basis for a nation’s wealth, and creativity of American students is declining.  Creativity is better predictor of success than SAT or ACT.  Females continue to be underrepresented in STEM careers.

12 Southern Regional Education Board STEM Supports Teaching More Students To Grade-Level Standards  Give middle grades students more opportunities to discover their interests and aptitudes by using math, science and technology as tools for solving problems.  Place more students on an accelerated mathematics pathway to ensure more of them acquire the mathematics skills needed for STEM careers.  Elevate science instruction to the same level of importance as reading and mathematics.  Make the science classroom a place where students use reading and math to understand complex texts, prepare written and oral reports, and analyze data from lab experiences.

13 Southern Regional Education Board Priority #3: Develop a comprehensive system to accelerate student learning, identify potential dropouts and implement targeted interventions to support all students in meeting grade level standards.

14 Southern Regional Education Board High Expectations and a System Of Extra Help and Time  Hold students to grade-level standards aligned to readiness standards for high school, college and careers.  Organize time and resources to ensure that students receive the extra help needed to meet high standards and expectations. The complete middle grades curriculum should be focused on accelerating achievement for all students.

15 Southern Regional Education Board Actions Needed to Teach More Students to Grade-Level Standards Get at-risk students to grade level by providing them with rich grade- level learning experiences with necessary scaffolds of support. Give principals autonomy to use resources to provide students with extra learning time.

16 Southern Regional Education Board Addressing Students’ Needs: Accelerate Learning  Most-improved schools gave much more assistance to help students meet grade-level standards. Not only did these schools align their curriculum to higher standards, they gave the students the extra support they needed to meet those standards.  Double Dose in Academics – Support classes in addition to on-level classes during the school day/year  Extended Time – before-, after- and during-school hours, summer bridge programs, pre-learning, etc.  Relationships – Build school connections through assignment of mentors to form supportive relationships develop a comprehensive set of strategies that includes attention to climate, curriculum, and academic success. The best thing a school can do to keep students on track to graduation is to develop a comprehensive set of strategies that includes attention to climate, curriculum, and academic success.

17 Early Warning Indicators of Potential Dropouts (Johns Hopkins) Student attends school less than 80% of the time. Student receives a low final behavior grade from a teacher. Student receives a failing final grade in English. Robert Balfanz and his colleagues found that more than half of sixth graders that met any of these criteria eventually dropped out of school. Balfanz & Herzog, 2005 Student receives a failing final grade in math.

18 Southern Regional Education Board Develop and Support a System That Stresses Early Identification and Intervention 2. Supports & Interventi ons 3. Reflective Review of Interventions & Supports 1. Data Collection & Early Warning System These behaviors do not typically self-correct. Less than 1 of every 4 students with even ONE off-track indicator graduated with one extra year of on-time graduation.

19 Southern Regional Education Board Priority # 4: Provide a Range of Exploratory Experiences, Help Students and Their Parents Understand Future Career and Education Options and Guide Students to Develop Individual Academic and Graduation Plans. Provide a Range of Exploratory Experiences, Help Students and Their Parents Understand Future Career and Education Options and Guide Students to Develop Individual Academic and Graduation Plans.

20 Southern Regional Education Board Actions Needed to Teach More Students to Grade-Level Standards  Give middle grades students an opportunity to explore career and educational options related to their aptitudes and interests, and formulate a tentative academic and career plan with parent involvement by the end of grade nine.

21 Southern Regional Education Board Address Gaps Between Student Aspirations and Reality Traditional SystemTargeted System Counseling for collegeCounseling for careers College is the end game. College is a means to a career. College is “the thing to do” or a cool hang out. College is purpose- designed to lead to a desired career path.

22 Southern Regional Education Board Are Our Students (and Their Parents) Well Informed?  One-half of new jobs in the next decade will require some education beyond high school, but less than a college degree (passing employer certification exams, earning certificates or associate’s degrees, etc.).  40% of mid-skill jobs will earn more than the average salary of those with bachelor’s degrees.

23 Southern Regional Education Board Priority #5: Focus Professional Development for Teachers, Counselors and School Leaders to Continuously Improve Teaching and Learning.

24 Southern Regional Education Board Actions Needed to Teach More Students to Grade-Level Standards  Schools need a long- term professional development plan (the Commission recommends three years) to improve teachers’ capacity to help students meet the new common core state standards.

25 Southern Regional Education Board Teachers Working Together  Provide teams of teachers with time and support to work together to  integrate mathematics and literacy concepts across the curriculum.  analyze teacher assignments and student work.  help students succeed in challenging academic and exploratory studies.  work together to complete a variety of planning activities.

26 Southern Regional Education Board Honeysuckle Middle School Dothan, AL Superintendent Tim Wilder and Principal Dwain Scott Faulk  Non-magnet school of 620 students  Over 75% of students qualify for free or reduced lunches  25% are identified as having special needs and two-thirds live in single-parent homes.  107 of th grade students scored a Level 4 on the ARMT exam in Spring  HMS was selected to participate in the school showcase of the 2013 Alabama Mega Conference.

27 Southern Regional Education Board Panel Questions 1.What is working really well for you in targeting at-risk students in the middle? 2.What interventions are necessary in order to decrease the number of students failing their courses? 3.What interventions are necessary in order to decrease absenteeism? 4.What interventions are necessary in order to decrease discipline? 5.Are there implications for policies that school boards might want or need to consider?

28 Southern Regional Education Board 28 THANK YOU Steve Broome Director of State Development HSTW and MMGW efforts in Alabama Florida Georgia Mississippi New Mexico Ohio


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