Transition: Middle School to High School

External Examinations and Accountability, Educational Expectations, and High School Graduation

This study explores whether state testing policies were related to differences in students’ likelihood of earning a high school diploma. The study also explores whether there is variation in the association of high school graduation with students’ backgrounds and expectations. It was found that the relationship between students’ likelihood of graduating from high school and their background, aspirations and teacher expectations varied among states with different practices.

The Effectiveness of the Wake Summerbridge Summer Enrichment Program. Eye on Evaluation. E&R Report.

Wake Summerbridge is an enrichment program that has supported selected WCPSS middle school students for a number of years. This evaluation compared subsequent academic performance, suspensions and dropout rates of students who had participated in the program with a comparison group of students with similar characteristics who did not participate in the program. The main positive finding was that dropout rates were much lower for Summerbridge students than for the comparison group (1% versus 13%).

The Effects of Block Scheduling on High School Academic Achievement

This study examined three different types of scheduling used in high schools: a traditional schedule, an A/B block schedule, and a 4 x 4 block schedule. The sample of 355 students was drawn from a city in northern Colorado where junior high schools that employed similar schedules served as feeders to the high schools. Findings from this study indicate that students participating in the school where 4 x 4 block scheduling is used may have an advantage in math and reading achievement over students in traditional and A/B schedules. Significant gains were discovered in reading achievement.

Ninth Grade Counts: Using Summer Bridge to Strengthen Transitions to High School

The transition from middle to high school presents many challenges for students, including increased academic expectations with reduced student support, summer learning loss, and often times difficult social transitions. Across the nation, summer transition programs aim to reduce the number of dropouts by providing transition supports for students most at risk of dropping out.

New! Fact Sheets On Transitions Into High School and College and Career Readiness

Did you know? High school seniors who set the postsecondary goal of earning a four-year degree are 28% more likely to apply to college than students with no aspirations to attend college. Students who aspire to complete an advanced degree are 34% more likely to apply to college than those who do not (Gilkey, Seburn, & Conley, 2011).

NCES Report Features Statistics on Youths’ Transition to Adulthood

A recent National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report, America's Youth: Transitions to Adulthood, provides an in-depth perspective on the lives of young adults ages 14 to 24 years old who are transitioning from childhood to adulthood. What makes the statistical comparisons included in the report particularly interesting is the fact that as the report’s introduction notes, the transition to adulthood in the U.S.

Successful K-12 Transitions through Vertical and Horizontal Articulation

The California Comprehensive Center at WestEd conducted a research study aimed at identifying middle-to-high school transition practices  at California schools with graduation rates that were higher than predicted. They found that some schools used a “Regional Model” that leveraged collaboration and cross-school communication to ease transition and raise graduation rates.

High School Graduation Initiative Strategies: Preparation in Middle School and Transitions to High School

High School Graduation Initiative (HSGI) grants have been awarded recently to a wide range of applicants, and summaries are now available on the Department of Education’s Web site.  Twenty-nine grantees in 18 states will receive a total of $46,610,682.  In a series of blog entries, we will be examining some of the common strategies proposed by HSGI awardees.  Though these posts examine trends in strategies used, the applications may include other components not captured


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