River Deep, Mountain High

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 04 2012

A (Middle School) Moment Like This

My blogging as of late has been very sporadic, but good things are happening up here in Boston. I’ve also been trying to keep up with education news, but there has been A LOT to keep up with recently. One exciting article I wanted to share is part of the PBS series focused on the dropout crisis in America.

I highly recommend checking out the video and accompanying article (see below for additional links). As a middle school teacher, I was often frustrated by the lack of attention my students received relative to early education and high school graduation rates. I haven’t taught elementary education, but I’d argue that middle school is the toughest age to teach because all the gaps created early are exposed during middle school AND must be tackled at the same time students are dealing with the challenging changes of puberty. I’m happy to see that the important education research of Dr. Robert Balfanz is getting increased national media attention. His work on early warning indicators is a critical piece of the mission to keep students in school and on track to graduate.

As for me, I can relate to the last paragraph, which states:

“But he also also cautions that while teachers are the front line, they won’t be enough to reach every at-risk student. That’s why he argues that schools need to get creative and bring in a “second shift” of adults — national service corps members, volunteers, retired teachers — so that every one in “that group of kids in the middle” has an adult.”

…and THAT is a huge part of why I chose to continue the fight for educational equity with City Year, which is the most prominent national organization focused on utilizing the ABC‘s to help under-resourced communities.



Middle School Moment is part of FRONTLINE’s Dropout Nation community engagement campaign supported by American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America identify and implement solutions to address the dropout crisis. Learn more about how to participate.”

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