Policy and Research

Members of the National Forum conduct research on critical education issues that affect the daily lives of students, parents, teachers, and administrators. As a body, the Forum also prepares and disseminates policy statements to spur discussion and help others address these issues.


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Over the past several years, the membership of the National Forum have raised questions and issues directly related to middle grades’ research. A Research Committee was formed in early 2006 to propose a Research Agenda for its work to support the vision of the National Forum.
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Indicators of Middle School Implementation: How Do Kentucky’s Schools to Watch Measure Up?
This research article on Kentucky’s Schools to Watch (STW) and how they are measuring up, written by Chris Cook,Shawn Faulkner, and Lenore Kinne from Northern Kentucky University, has been published in Research in Middle Level Education Online. In the article the authors report and analyze the findings of their research that looked at the perceived level of implementation of the middle level concepts in both schools designated as a Kentucky STW and non-designated ones. In the study the authors also compared the academic performance of the two groups. The research does show a slight difference in both the level of perceived implementation of middle school concepts and student achievement between schools designated a STW and the non-designated schools. The schools designated as a STW had a greater level of implementation and student achievement was higher. In their concluding remarks the authors make several significant recommendations. Read the complete article.

Policy Statements
The Forum seeks to engage key stakeholders in the critical issues of middle-grades reform. We realize that for changes to occur at the school and classroom level, policy makers must provide support to middle-grades schools. To accelerate these changes, the Forum develops and disseminates policy statements on issues that have a direct impact on middle-grades education.
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