The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform is an alliance of over 60 educators, researchers, national associations, and officers of professional organizations and foundations committed to promoting the academic performance and healthy development of young adolescents.
In order to prepare students to be lifelong learners ready for college, career, and citizenship, the National Forum seeks to make every middle grades school academically excellent, responsive to the developmental needs and interests of young adolescents, and socially equitable.
To accomplish its goal of improved academic and developmental outcomes for all students in the middle grades, the Forum identifies and disseminates best practices, articulates and promotes effective policies, recognizes and develops enlightened leadership, and informs and engages the public. Read more . . .
Through its Schools to Watch® (STW) program, the Forum has developed criteria for identifying high-performing middle-grades schools, created tools to help schools use the criteria, expanded the program to 18 states, and selected and honored 200 successful schools across the country during the Annual STW Conference. Visit the Schools to Watch website for more information.
2012 Schools to Watch Conference
June 21-23, 2012
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Mark your calendars now for the 2012 STW Conference June 21-23 in Washington, DC. where high performing schools from around the country will gather and share best practices for advancing academic excellence, developmental responsiveness and social equity.
January 2012 registration opens for the 2012 STW Conference.
Rethinking Middle School Education
The Middle School years are a hormone-fueled, socially-charged, technology-obsessed time of life. Now, new brain research and emerging technology trends are combining to encourage educators re-think how to best engage eleven to fourteen year olds in learning, and and prepare them for life in a complex world.
The Kojo Nnandi show on NPR featured a conversation about how and why reforming middle school is becoming a priority in our region and around the country. Click here for more information. Guests included:
Margaret Walsh, Executive Director, Secondary Programs, Alexandria City Public Schools
Vicky Lake-Parcan, Principal, Silver Spring International Middle School
Gayle Andrews, Associate Professor, Middle Grades Education Program, University of Georgia; President-elect, National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform; co-author, Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the Twenty-first Century
Invitation to Apply for the Schools to Watch State Program
Each year the National Forum invites state middle-grades associations, state departments of education, post-secondary institutions, and other collaborating organizations to join us in expanding our STW program. Through this program, we seek to provide state and local leaders in selected states with a unique professional learning opportunity, while at the same time identifying and honoring middle-grades schools that are on a solid trajectory toward reform. Request for Application form is now available.
Download the Application Here (PDF)
Mathematics Improvement Toolkit
The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform is proud to have a Toolkit devoted to improving mathematics instruction in the middle grades. The Mathematics Improvement Toolkit provides a variety of professional development opportunities for middle grades mathematics educators serving diverse student populations. From workshops, to teacher guides and online resources, the tools provide a strong foundation on which to build stronger mathematics instruction for adolescent learners.
The tools include universal design curriculum modules, moderated online professional development, and
workshops focusing on teaching high-level math to English language learners, collaboration and co-teaching, and language in the math classroom. The Toolkit was designed by leading national organizations with the characteristics of strong professional development in mind. The tools:
Tap into the expertise of skilled professionals within districts;
Incorporate the resources needed for rich professional development experiences;
Provide a variety of options to meet the range of needs and schedules of schools and districts; and
Feature active and interactive experiences that have been tested and refined in response to
input from teachers in the field.