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June 25th, 2009
Grijalva Bill to Ensure Student Success in Middle School

Washington, D.C.—Legislation to help ensure that all students exiting the middle grades are prepared for success was introduced this week by Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva.

The Success in the Middle Act, would authorize federal investments in improving the education of middle grades students in low-performing schools. The bill would help states and districts provide leadership, intensive intervention, and technical assistance to improve low-performing schools that contain middle grades.

According to ACT, the level of academic achievement that students attain by eighth grade has a larger impact on the students’ college and career readiness upon graduation from high school than anything that happens academically in high school.

“Middle schools are a forgotten area,” said Grijalva. “We need to invest in the most crucial years of the education pipeline to ensure our students succeed. Middle school students are faced with many changes in their personal life and the pressures of adjusting into teenagers. Our schools need to invest in this transitional period, to create the support mechanism these students will need to continue through high school and on to other higher education opportunities.”

The Success in the Middle Act would offer federal support to improve the education of middle school students in low-performing schools.

The legislation:

•Provides $1 billion in formula grants to States targeting our lowest-performing middle schools.

•Ensures that students who exit the middle grades are prepared academically for high school and college success and aware of college access.

•Calls for increased technical assistance and support in order to raise student achievement and foster successful professional development.

•Authorizes an additional $100 million to facilitate the generation, dissemination, and application of research to identify promising practices in middle grades education, as well as review existing research on middle grades education practices. This research will assist in the implementation of effective practices that lead to continual student learning and high academic achievement at the middle level.

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