Rep. Grijalva believes it is a critical opportunity to advance national middle level policy and help raise student achievement in the middle grades. He is committed to working within the Education and Labor Committee’s reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to ensure this bill is included.
“Middle schools are a forgotten area in this whole NCLB reauthorization process,” said Rep. Grijalva. “We need to invest in the most crucial years of the education pipeline to ensure our students succeed.”
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.
“Middle school students are facing many changes in their personal life, they are adjusting into teenagers,” noted Rep. Grijalva. “Our schools need to invest in this transition, which will have benefits as they continue through high school and on to other higher education opportunities.”
Research from the 2005 Center on Education Policy noted that middle school students represent over half of all students tested under NCLB yet they receive only 10% of Title I funding. On the National Assessment on Educational Progress (NAEP), studies show that 70% of 8th grade students score below proficient in reading and writing; in math, only 30 % of students in eighth grade perform at the proficient level, and nearly a third score below the basic level. Middle level schools represent 23 % of the nation’s student population.