Your Instincts Were Right, Middle School Does Suck
Could there be a worse idea than putting a bunch of hormonal, insecure, gawky 12- and 13-year-olds together in one building and expect them to learn something?
As it turns out, no.
A new study shows that students who were moved to a new school just for grades 7 and 8 had slightly lower academic scores than students who stayed in the same school from Kindergarten to 8.
While the study has a small sample, the idea of forcing kids who are already in personal transition (thanks to puberty) to go through another transition for such a short time does not make instinctual sense. (Not that instinct is science.)
An article in Time Magazine suggests that one of the issues with middle school is that it treats kids too much like they are in high school and they cannot form relationships with mentors to guide them during this difficult time.
Middle schools, which were called Junior High when I was there, are their own special kind of hell with all the new kids battling it out for social superiority. But for some kids, it can be a relief to leave the social incubators of their elementary schools in search of new friends and new identities.
The report recommends that no new middle schools are opened and that they should be closed in small areas and the kids should remain in their elementary schools until grade 8. After which the horribleness of grade 9 begins.
What do you think? Are separate middle schools a good idea? What was your experience?
Want more chaos? Last year, I asked if giving away your kids' baby clothes makes you sad. It makes me sad.