Transforming middle school teaching and learning.
Why is it needed?
The middle school years set the stage for students to take ownership of their learning and academic futures. Yet, far too many middle school students are achieving below grade level and fail to catch up with their peers. Students who are already struggling and reach middle school – with eight new classes, eight different teachers, lockers, and hormones – often find it impossible to catch up. RAISEup Texas provides individualized, integrated interventions to help these students accelerate to at or above grade level and catch back up with their peers.
Even those middle schoolers who are “coasting along” with B averages often do quite well at rote memorization but fail to develop the conceptual learning and critical thinking skills needed to be high school, college and career ready. Data shows that passing rates in middle school drop, disciplinary rates skyrocket and students often start to mentally “drop out” of the academic process.
As part of a strategic planning process that sought to identify solutions to eliminate achievement gaps, school district and community leaders from across Central Texas identified middle school as a crucial point in a student’s development, in particular their ability to take responsibility for their own learning and apply conceptual and critical thinking skills across all subjects. So, E3 Alliance and our partners set out to identify a solution to the “middle school slump” and found the best evidence in the country from the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, in the Strategic Instruction Model – SIM.