The Effect of Comprehensive School Reform On Middle School Achievement

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Introduction
Schools with high dropout rates are categorized as underperforming schools. Since a majority of our children, who drop out of school, do so in middle school or the first year of high school and their ages range between 12 and 16 years (Cohen & Smerdon, 2009). It is the inability of many middle school kids to make the transition to high school that contributes to an increase in dropout rates. In order to address under performing schools and the high dropout rates, school reform programs were initiated by federal, local, state governments and many independent organizations. School reform programs were a means to improve student performance in the classroom and show a measured increase in student achievement (Brandlow, 2001)
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Consequently, effective CSR programs would provide the needed influx of money and professional teachers need to turn around low performing multicultural and high poverty schools.
When looking back on programs directed towards the middle school, it is easy to point out several successful and some not successful programs. Erb (2006) reported "Turning Points" as being the most implemented and most researched of all the middle school models. Turning Points was created by the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston (CCE). The National Turning Points Network is based on the research performed by Carnegie Corporation of New York. In addition to Turning Points, Erb (2006 p.3) also added, "AIM at Middle-Grades Results, Different Ways of Knowing, Making Middle Grades Work, Middle Start, Success for All Middle School Programs and Talent Development Middle School Model". Comprehensive School reform is still the viable means for making under performing schools work (Gross, Booker, & Goldhaber, 2009).
Comprehensive School Reform in Middle School
The concept of Middle School as describe by Erb (2006), “remain unequalled as the most potent factor for improving the performance of young adolescents"(p. 10). Regardless of the model, K-8 or 8-12 or 6-8 we must address the unique adolescent requirements of the 11-14 year olds as they transition from childhood to the teen years.…