Now the veil is ripped off the ugly face of middle schoolism in a just-released
major study by the Fordham Foundation.
The study concludes that middle schoolism together with be lingering effects of the bizarre theory of "brain periodization" should be consigned to history's dustbin.
As a teacher of middle graders I know first-hand that early adolescents are perfectly capable of academic achievement and are not the dysfunctional monsters the movement would have us believe they are.
Excerpt from The Education Gladfly:
Fie on Middle Schoolism
If ever an education fad showed dreadful timing, reaching its intellectual and political pinnacle just as lightning struck the mountaintop, it's "middle schoolism." The key year was 1989, when the middle school bible, an influential Carnegie-backed report named Turning Points, was published. It hit just as the governors and then-President Bush gathered in Charlottesville to place the United States squarely astride the standards-based reform that is antithetical to the central message of this education religion.
In the ensuing decade and a half, the National Middle School Association (NMSA) and its acolytes, flying the banner of Turning Points and arguing that the middle grades are no time for academic learning, argued with great success that these schools should be devoted to social adjustment, coping with hormonal throbs, and looking out for the needs of the "whole child."
That is the essence of middle schoolism as set forth in a stunning new Fordham report by Cheri Pierson Yecke. It's a jeremiad drawing upon gobs of evidence that show the middle grades are where U.S. student achievement begins its fateful plunge and where a growing number of other nations begins to outpace us.
You can access the middle school report here.