Tonight: Join us to celebrate Education Week’s 2021 Leaders To Learn From. Register to attend the gala.
School & District Management

Success Strategies for Middle School Leaders Outlined

By Laura Greifner — March 07, 2006 2 min read

Specific strategies for middle school administrators to use to improve academic achievement and better prepare students for high school are outlined in a report released last week by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

The report by the Reston, Va.-based association—developed in collaboration with the Education Alliance at Brown University and a commission of middle school experts—is a follow-up to a 2004 NASSP report, “Breaking Ranks II,” which focused on student achievement in high school.

A summary of “Breaking Ranks in the Middle: Strategies for Leading Middle Level Reform” is posted by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

“The theory that led us to write this book is that you can’t really expect high school achievement to take root unless you’ve been building a foundation all along,” said John R. Nori, the director of instructional leadership resources at the principals’ group.

Mr. Nori emphasized that the transition from the middle grades, defined in the report as 6th through 8th grade, to high school is especially difficult for many students. That’s why one of the primary goals of the report, he said, is to “make success seamless between middle and high school.”

Three Key Areas

The new report, “Breaking Ranks in the Middle: Strategies for Leading Middle School Reform,” offers 30 specific recommendations school leaders can use to help raise student achievement, such as developing political and financial relationships with individuals, organizations, and businesses to support and supplement educational programs and policies, and making sure each teacher in a school has a “broad base of academic knowledge, with depth in at least one subject area.”

The recommendations are grouped under nine “cornerstone strategies,” which are further organized into three key areas. The first key area, collaborative leadership and professional learning communities, focuses on transforming a school into a community and establishing strong professional- development programs. The second, personalizing a school environment, emphasizes each student’s individual needs. The third, making learning personal, emphasizes student achievement.

The report includes four profiles of middle schools that have put the recommendations into action, as well as examples from 13 other middle schools.

“We’re absolutely thrilled by the release of ‘Breaking Ranks in the Middle,’ ” said John A. Harrison, the president of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, based in Champaign, Ill. “It ties in very nicely with the work we’ve been doing.”

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Principals and Stress: Strategies for Coping in Difficult Times
Running schools in the pandemic has strained leaders in unprecedented ways. Principals share their ideas for how to manage the stress.
6 min read
Illustration of calm woman working at desk
Getty
School & District Management Wanted: Superintendents to Lead Districts Through the End of a Pandemic
Former superintendents say there are signs when it's time to move on. Their replacements are more likely to be greenhorns, experts say.
4 min read
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner speaks at a news conference at the school district headquarters in Los Angeles on March 13, 2020. Beutner will step down as superintendent after his contract ends in June, he announced Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
Austin Beutner, the superintendent of Los Angeles Unified, will step down after his contract ends in June.
Damian Dovarganes/AP
School & District Management Has COVID-19 Led to a Mass Exodus of Superintendents?
This year has been exhausting for superintendents. Some experts say they're seeing an unusually high number of resignations this spring.
5 min read
Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Janice K. Jackson, right, speaks on Feb. 11, 2021, during a news conference at the William H. Brown Elementary School in Chicago. In-person learning for students in pre-k and cluster programs began Thursday, since the district's agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union was reached.
Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Janice K. Jackson, right, announced earlier this week that she would depart the school system. Jackson, who assumed the superintendency in 2018, has worked for more than 20 years in CPS.
Shafkat Anowar
School & District Management Most Schools Offer at Least Some In-Person Classes, According to Feds' Latest Count
A majority of 4th and 8th graders had at least some in-person schooling by March, but inequities persisted.
3 min read
Image shows empty desks in a classroom.
Chris Ryan/OJO Images