National Forum Resource Directory

The following is a list of important resources on middle-grades reform. This list will continue to grow and change. If you would like to recommend additional resources, please email

2001 Publications

School Size Matters in Interesting Ways (Clicking on this link begins a PDF download). As part of the Middle School Journal’s focus on middle school renewal, researchers Steven Mertens, Nancy Flowers, and Peter Mulhall discuss the impact of school size on interdisciplinary teaming, classroom practices, school climate, and student outcomes.

Safe To Be Smart: A Middle-Grades Study Guide (Clicking this link begins a PDF download). Anne Wheelock’s 1998 book, “Safe to Be Smart: Building a Culture for Standards-Based Reform in the Middle Grades,” now has a study guide, available free at the National Middle School Association website. Developed by past NMSA president Fran Salyers, the guide is designed to help schools and teams “mine the riches” of Wheelock’s work, which explores the uses and abuses of standards-based reform and provides suggestions for developing a standards-baed school and classroom. Wheelock’s book can be ordered at the NMSA site.

NMSA is nothing but National Middle School Association which was recognized in the year 1973. It was NMSA that gave a voice to educators and other people who showed interest in improving the education in youngsters. It has begun the enrolment of members from all of the 50 states in recent days and even since it has been established it has been growing quickly. See this to know how binary trading was established.

2000 Publications

Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century by Anthony Jackson and Gayle Davis. this updated report of Carnegie Corporation of New York is published by Teachers College Press and co-published and distributed with the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Middle School Association. To order Turning Points 2000, contact Teachers College Press at (800) 575-6566.

Turning Points 2000 Resources available through this site:

Excerpts from the authors’ plenary address at the 2000 NMSA Anuual Conference in St. Louis, MO. Full text and slides also available.
Transcript from an online conversation with the authors. Over several days in January 2001, members of the MiddleWeb listserv had the opportunity to discuss Turning Points 2000 with one another and with Gayle Davis and Tony Jackson.

National Conference on Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in the Middle Grades: Linking Research and Practice. Proceedings of the July 24-25 conference sponsored by the U. S. Department of Education, National Educational Research Policy and Priorities Board.

How to Improve Middle Grades Achievement. In a series of reports, the Southern Regional Education Board has identified problems that help explain the pattern of lagging performance among middle grades students in the region’s 16 states. This final report, “Leading the Way: State Actions to Improve Student Achievement in the Middle Grades,” sets out a framework for policies and actions that can alter that discouraging pattern. Complete report available at website, including 13 recommendations for state and district action that are pertinent to all states and school systems. Links to first three reports also available.

1999 Publications

What Works in the Middle: Results-Based Staff Development This guidebook identifies 26 programs in English, math, science, social studies and interdisciplinary studies that have led to measurable learning gains. The product of a two-year study led by the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) with participation of national content area and secondary school groups — and supported by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

What’s Missing in Middle Grades Standards-Based Reform? Standards-based reform is doomed to failure, says the National Dropout Prevention Center, unless states use their newly established, more rigorous standards to develop interventions that provide teachers with the skills and knowledge required to teach to the higher standards and students with additional opportunities to achieve the higher standards. This article synthesizes information from a variety of sources. The Center is supported in this work by a middle grades reform grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

The Middle School Movement. . .Thirty and Counting During the past three decades, writes middle grades reformer Hayes Mizell, “there has been a lot of loose talk about middle schools being ‘student-centered.’ If middle schools had truly been student-centered there would be more impressive evidence of student performance than is currently the case. In fact, most middle schools have been more adult-centered than anything else. It is, after all, the adults in the schools who have been the most resistant to change and who have been inclined to expect so little of themselves and their students.”

Figuring It Out: Standards-Based Reforms in Urban Middle Grades by Anne C. Lewis. This book reports on key elements of success at six urban middle-grades school districts that are part of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s Program for Student Achievement. It includes different approaches to standards, compelling classroom stories, obstacles, as well as recommendations for moving forward. Published by Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, 250 Park Avenue, NY, NY 10177.

1998 Publications

Safe To Be Smart: Building a Culture for Standards-Based Reform in the Middle Grades Published by the National Middle Schools Association in November 1998, Anne Wheelock’s 200-page book describes the promises and pitfalls of the academic standards movement, with a middle grades focus. While she agrees that standards can help shape better teaching for all students, she warns that without careful attention to professional development and the impact of a school’s “culture” on change efforts, standards could further penalize students who are already overlooked and underserved. Foreword by M. Hayes Mizell. Also see Wheelock’s Is Your School Ready for Standards-Based Reform?

1997 Publications

Speaking with One Voice – A foursome of school reformers with foundation backgrounds nail their statement of principles to the schoolhouse door in this KAPPAN piece subtitled: “A Manifesto for Middle-Grades Reform.”

Phi Delta Kappan 5-Foot Bookshelf