$2 Million Is Awarded to 15 States To Continue Middle-Grades Reforms

By Debra Viadero — October 30, 1991 1 min read

The Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded a total of more than $2 million in grants to help 15 states continue their efforts to reform education in the middle grades.

The grants represent the second stage of a $7-million effort nationwide to implement recommendations in “Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century.”

The report, issued in 1989 by the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, decried the “volatile mismatch” between the structure and curriculum of the middle grades and the needs of students in the crucial developmental years of early adolescence.

Among its recommendations, the report called for dividing large, impersonal schools into smaller “communities of learning"; forging greater links between schools and community services and parents; and creating a core curriculum, including health education, for all middle-level students. (See Education Week, June 21, 1989.)

More than a year ago, the foundation awarded grants to help seed such efforts in 27 states. The second round of grants was awarded to the most promising of those efforts in 15 states-5 more than had originally been planned.

The states will match the foundation grants, averaging about $180,000 each, with state resources.

State Activities

States participating in the project have used the funds awarded thus far to set up model demonstration schools, publish statewide newsletters on middle-grades reform, hold conferences on the subject, form partnerships with teacher-training colleges, and create technical assistance centers, among other efforts.

The foundation and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which is providing technical assistance to the states and monitoring them, will issue a report on the range of state efforts early next year.

Selected to share in the new round of grants are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Vermont.

States not chosen will still receive technical assistance from the project and participate in national networks and meetings on middle-grades reform, according to the foundation.

A version of this article appeared in the October 30, 1991 edition of Education Week as $2 Million Is Awarded to 15 States To Continue Middle-Grades Reforms