Summary: this article reports on a study done by the Journal of Urban Economics that suggests that the concern about academic performance in middle schools may be unfounded. While they found a dip in Grade 6 math scores, the scores equalized by Grade 8 and language arts scores in middle schools exceeded those in K-8 schools.
Source: Amelia Harper, Education DIVE, February 23, 2018
Description: "Middle schools were established based on the idea that in early adolescence, students are entering a new stage of social-emotional development that requires special attention. However, the growing body of research on the value of middle schools has offered varying results. Some studies suggest that bullying actually increases with a middle school arrangement. Recent research suggests that academic performance improves long-term with a middle school arrangement while others suggest that middle school should be abolished because of its negative academic impact and negative impact on graduation outcomes."
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