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By William J. Moloney | October 8, 1996
AMIDST MANY promises in his Chicago acceptance speech, President Clinton pledged ''an unprecedented commitment from the national government to increase school construction.'' This statement is good news -- and bad.The good news is the acknowledgement at the highest level that school construction is a problem of monster dimension with the potential to plunge already strapped education budgets right over a financial cliff.The bad news is that the chances for significant federal relief are slim.
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NEWS
Liz Bowie | February 23, 2012
Remember junior high schools? The debate over what grade configurations are right for school systems has been alive for decades, but a research paper released yesterday provides more evidence that students in K-8 schools do better academically and are less likely to drop out than students in free-standing middle schools. "I do think that the evidence now shows that the transition to middle school is very difficult academically for many students and that middle schools themselves often struggle," said Harvard University  professor Martin West.
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NEWS
By MARIALE HARDIMAN | February 20, 2006
Reforming middle school education is a trend sweeping the country, and nowhere more so than in Baltimore. For those who have institutional memory, the cries for reconfiguring middle schools may seem familiar. Some may remember the former incarnation of the middle school, the junior high school, which served students in grades 7 through 9. The junior high school was originally intended to serve as a transition for students from small, sheltered elementary school environments to large and complex high schools.
NEWS
By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun | June 5, 2010
Howard County Superintendent Sydney L. Cousin is expected to present plans this week to the Board of Education on how to improve the struggling Cradlerock School in Columbia. A number of parents have asked that the system reorganize the school, which has been among the lowest-performing in the county and is the only one that uses the K-8 model. The problems at Cradlerock are not attributed to a lack of funding or resources, according to Ellen Flynn Giles, chairwoman of the school board, which will decide the school's fate.
NEWS
By Elise Armacost | July 6, 1997
IN ANNE ARUNDEL County, they're just about finished converting all the junior highs to middle schools -- just as parents and educators are starting to ask whether middle schools are as good an idea as everyone thought 20 years ago.Is the middle school destined to go the way of open-space classrooms and Dick-and-Jane readers? It's far too early to say. But in education, what goes around often comes around. We tend to roll our eyes as educational trends come and go, but what else should we expect in an ever-changing world?
NEWS
By Sara Neufeld and Sara Neufeld,Sun reporter | January 1, 2007
As the Baltimore school system expands many of its elementary schools to serve older children, parents and supporters on the City Council are charging that officials aren't providing the resources needed to educate young adolescents. The system, in the midst of a major consolidation process, is moving to close many of its traditional middle schools, while expanding several elementary schools to serve kindergarten through eighth grade. But a group of advocates, backed by City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, say the K-8 schools aren't getting the same staff, libraries, science labs and other basics as the regular middle schools.
NEWS
By Marego Athans and Marego Athans,SUN STAFF | December 8, 1996
Cedarmere Elementary School parents never recovered from the Baltimore County school board's decision seven years ago to redistrict their children out of their community, from crowded Franklin Middle to Deer Park Middle in Randallstown.Black community leaders never forgot, either -- especially the vehemence with which white parents opposed the move to a school in a mostly black neighborhood.Now, the controversy is resurfacing as residents in the Cedarmere area, with the help of local politicians, push to move their children back to Reisterstown -- saying that the redistricting has damaged community cohesiveness and reduced housing values.
NEWS
By Michael A. Fletcher and Michael A. Fletcher,Staff Writer | December 15, 1992
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday that he opposes a district recommendation to eliminate Baltimore's seven combined elementary- middle schools, preferring to see more schools with that structure."
NEWS
By Mark Bomster and Mark Bomster,Staff Writer | December 11, 1992
Education experts disagree on whether middle schools ar the best way to educate students in grades six through eight.Research shows that separate middle schools can best serve the needs of young adolescents, Norman J. Walsh, the school planning official in charge of preparing the plan, told the Baltimore school board last night.He noted that students at that age need specialized equipment, materials and trained staff to explore future career and academic opportunities, as they prepare for high school.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,Sun reporter | January 16, 2007
Johns Hopkins University researchers have concluded that expanding elementary schools to sixth, seventh and eighth grades does not help adolescents do better academically - a finding that raises questions about changes in Baltimore and other urban districts. In a multiyear study of Philadelphia's newest schools for kindergarten through eighth grade, the researchers found no significant difference in achievement between those students and their peers in traditional middle schools of sixth through eighth grades.
NEWS
February 26, 2007
Baltimore's board of school commissioners is scheduled to vote this week on a second round of school closings, an inevitably painful process that has left many individuals and communities upset that their neighborhood schools are being shut down or reconfigured. Despite the pain, in many cases the recommendations that emerged from the system's facility solutions committee reflect the board's general preference for converting traditional middle schools to K-8 schools. But in at least one case involving Harlem Park schools, the board should reconsider and try to come up with another solution.
NEWS
February 13, 2007
While a task force tries to come up with recommendations to fix Maryland's middle schools, some schools are forging ahead with reforms - and getting results. Those results should be examined carefully, but they reinforce the larger lesson that there is no easy - or single - solution. School districts across the country are trying to figure out the right fix for middle schools, where test scores tend to sag. The combination of more specialized and challenging subjects as well as emotional and behavioral changes can be a hard adjustment for middle school pupils and their teachers.
NEWS
January 17, 2007
Anew study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found that pupils in many K-8 schools in Philadelphia did not perform significantly better than those in traditional middle schools. The research calls into question the movement by some school districts, including Baltimore, to foster more schools covering elementary and middle school grades. But the study also suggests that there is no magic bullet for reconfiguring middle schools and that districts should pay as much attention to what goes on in classrooms as to school structure.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,Sun reporter | January 16, 2007
Johns Hopkins University researchers have concluded that expanding elementary schools to sixth, seventh and eighth grades does not help adolescents do better academically - a finding that raises questions about changes in Baltimore and other urban districts. In a multiyear study of Philadelphia's newest schools for kindergarten through eighth grade, the researchers found no significant difference in achievement between those students and their peers in traditional middle schools of sixth through eighth grades.
NEWS
By Sara Neufeld and Sara Neufeld,Sun reporter | January 1, 2007
As the Baltimore school system expands many of its elementary schools to serve older children, parents and supporters on the City Council are charging that officials aren't providing the resources needed to educate young adolescents. The system, in the midst of a major consolidation process, is moving to close many of its traditional middle schools, while expanding several elementary schools to serve kindergarten through eighth grade. But a group of advocates, backed by City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, say the K-8 schools aren't getting the same staff, libraries, science labs and other basics as the regular middle schools.
NEWS
July 10, 2006
Charlene Cooper Boston is obviously no stranger to hard work and difficult challenges. And those who know her well say she won't rock the boat as she temporarily runs the Baltimore school system after the departure of CEO Bonnie S. Copeland. But during her tenure, she will need to strike a delicate balance between maintaining the stability and integrity of a beleaguered system and moving forward on some reforms this summer and in the school year ahead. For starters, she should not hesitate to push aggressively on middle school reforms that aim to strengthen the system's weakest link in academic performance.
NEWS
January 17, 2007
Anew study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found that pupils in many K-8 schools in Philadelphia did not perform significantly better than those in traditional middle schools. The research calls into question the movement by some school districts, including Baltimore, to foster more schools covering elementary and middle school grades. But the study also suggests that there is no magic bullet for reconfiguring middle schools and that districts should pay as much attention to what goes on in classrooms as to school structure.
NEWS
By Mark Bomster and Mark Bomster,Staff Writer | December 17, 1992
Hundreds of parents filled the Coldstream Park Elementary auditorium last night to denounce a proposed citywide school rezoning plan.The sometimes raucous public forum was the third such meeting this week during which parents were briefed on the plan to close nine schools, change the boundaries of 57 others and return all schools to traditional elementary, middle and high school grade levels.Many of those who protested last night were angered by the proposed elimination of popular K-8 schools.
NEWS
May 8, 2006
Baltimore school officials are struggling to fix middle schools, where students throughout the state and, indeed, the nation often stumble. A comprehensive reform plan is promised soon, but in the interim, officials have announced a credible start, focusing not only on children's academic progress but also on their social and emotional needs. Despite reform efforts that are making a difference in elementary and high schools, middle schools have been like neglected stepchildren - underscored by poor academic results.
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