I was wondering when the New York Times would finally add to their series about middle schools. (Post about first story is here.) A second story finally appeared today and focuses on whether middle schools should be eliminated. (Here’s a link to a Florida paper running the story if you have problems with the NYT link.) If so, then should it be K-8 or 6-12 or something else?
And going with the middle school theme here in Florida, failing even one core subject in middle school could stop a student from advancing to high school unless the class is made up.
Eager to make sure middle-schoolers are prepared for high school, state officials have made it tougher for students to advance to ninth grade. Starting with this year’s sixth-graders, any youngsters who fail even one “core” course must retake the class or they will not be promoted to high school.
Core courses include math, science, English and social studies.
Finally, this editorial in the Tampa Tribune laments the state’s graduation rate and points out one area that we here at Florida Citizens for Science are actually actively working on:
Much work also needs to be done on refining Florida’s curriculum standards, particularly in middle school and high school, which direct teachers on what to teach and sets the baseline for what students should know.
The Koret Task Force, which recently reviewed the progress of Florida’s school reform efforts, zeroed in on curriculum as the weak link in high schools.