Transition: Middle School to High School

Teaching Adolescents to Become Leaders: The Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance: A Critical Literature Review

This literature review explores the role of noncognitive factors in academic performance, which is measured by student GPA. The report develops an evidence-based conceptual framework from existing literature on noncognitive factors. The report also analyzes existing research to identify any gaps in knowledge in order to assist policymakers who wish to assess leverage points for improving student achievement. Additionally, it examines implications for student learning, presents case studies, and provides recommendations.

Bill Would Let Middle School Students Earn High School Credits

A bill was introduced in Wisconsin that would allow middle school students to earn high school credits starting in the 2014-2015 school year. Students would be taught using high school equivalent curriculum teachers licensed to teach at the high school level. The bill would address budgetary constraints that have led to career exploration courses being cut, would allow students to focus on more college readiness courses, and would allow students move through high school more quickly.

Algebra Academy Gives Central Coast Students a Leg Up

Algebra Academy, a weeklong program that serves eighth grade students in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito counties in California, allows students to work with math professors and graduate students to improve their skills in algebra. The program is aimed at reducing students' need for remediation by providing them with an "algebra booster shot" and also tracks the students after their participation in the program.

Community-Wide College Readiness Initiatives

On March 14, 2013, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform hosted a webinar, College Readiness: A Citywide Commitment, as part the College Readiness Indicator System (CRIS) project. The webinar highlighted community-wide college readiness initiatives in Dallas and Pittsburgh and shared lessons learned in building and sustaining community partnerships.

Defining the Intensity of High School Mathematics: Distinguishing Between College-Ready and College-Eligible Students

This study examines high school characteristics that influence high school graduates to be college-ready. The analysis used longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of eighth grade students. Findings indicate that there should be an increase in academic rigor and higher expectations, greater emphasis on students being continuously enrolled in mathematics courses throughout high school, and completion of senior year mathematics homework out of school all contribute a college-ready graduate.

Early outcomes of the GEAR UP program

This study evaluates the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP), which targets low-income students and their families in order to increase knowledge, preparation and expectations for postsecondary education. The researchers compared a sample of 18 middle schools and 18 comparison schools. Overall GEARUP had positive effects on parent and student knowledge of postsecondary education, higher parent involvement and expectations for their children.


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