Teachers College Press 

Best Practices from High-Performing Middle Schools
How Successful Schools Remove Obstacles and Create Pathways to Learning

Kristen C. Wilcox and Janet I. Angelis
Foreword by Gerald N. Tirozzi
Pub Date: September 2009, 112 pages

Paperback: $22.95, ISBN: 0807750050
Cloth: $50, ISBN: 0807750069
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“This lively book, full of examples, is a must read for educators who would like to ensure their middle schools are implementing practices that make a difference in student performance.”
Judith A. Langer, Distinguished Professor, Director, Albany Institute for Research in Education, and Director, Center on English Learning & Achievement

“This book provides a reaffirmation of the relevance and ‘do-ability’ of best middle school practices in the NCLB era. Its many specific examples and self-assessments can stimulate thinking among other middle school faculties seeking to do better.”
Thomas O. Erb, Editor, Middle School Journal and Boswell Distinguished Professor of Education Studies, DePauw University

“This book serves as a valuable tool for middle-level schools by providing excellent practical examples of how real-life educators are implementing the best practices of relationships, emotional and social well-being, collaboration, evidence-based decision-making, and shared vision.”
—From the Foreword by Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals

Why is it that many students’ performance tends to drop in the middle school years, and what can we do about it? This book tells the stories of educators who embody best practices in their day-to-day activities—practices that consistently lead to higher student academic achievement. The authors share what they have learned about how some middle schools consistently foster better academic performance than other similar schools. These schools have learned to successfully adapt to the climate of accountability while practicing the essentials of effective middle-level education.

Best Practices from High-Performing Middle Schools is essential reading for everyone who cares about adolescents and wants to ensure their success in later schooling and in life. Teachers and administrators will find research-based practices that they can adapt to their own unique contexts. Parents, policymakers, and community members will better understand how they can contribute to the improvement of their middle schools.

Book Features:

  • Identifies 5 key elements or “best practices” that were present in high performing middle schools.
  • Includes a self-assessment tool for each best practice to help educators identify where their school’s or district’s efforts fall along these five key elements.
  • Presents key research that speaks to communities striving to serve large numbers of children from low-income families.

Kristen C. Wilcox is a visiting assistant professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Janet I. Angelis is associate director of the Albany Institute for Research in Education (AIRE). They are coauthors of Best Practices from High-Performing High Schools: How Successful Schools Help Students Stay in School and Thrive.

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