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George W. Bush Institute Selects Three Schools for 2nd Annual Middle School Matters Program

August 25, 2014


Today, the George W. Bush Institute at the George W. Bush Presidential Center announced the selection of three schools to receive intensive support from nationally recognized educational researchers during the 2014-2015 school year through its Middle School Matters (MSM) program.  The three schools will receive help in implementing high-quality, research-based strategies for advanced reasoning, data management, dropout prevention, and instruction in reading, writing, and math. 

These three schools: Advanced Studies Magnet-Haut Gap Middle School in Johns Island, South Carolina; Robert E. Lee Middle School in San Angelo, Texas; and Walter L. Wilkinson Middle School in Mesquite, Texas were among five other schools chosen from a pool of nationwide applicants to participate in the Middle School Matters Summer Conference held at The University of Texas at Austin this past June.

The Bush Institute, in partnership with The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk (MCPER) at The University of Texas at Austin, convenes educational research experts to translate research into practice and provide effective support to schools chosen to be a part of this select group. This is Middle School Matters’ second group to be selected, which expands the program to 16 schools in four states: California, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.

“By making research-based strategies practical and available to those preparing students for high school and post-secondary success, Middle School Matters builds a bridge between expert researchers in the field and educators in the classroom.” said Beth Ann Bryan, Interim Director of Education Reform at the George W. Bush Institute. 

Sharon Vaughn, Executive Director of MCPER at the University of Texas commented, “We are thrilled at having the opportunity to work with such progressive middle schools that are committed to using proven strategies for success in the middle grades with our teachers and school leaders across the nation.”

For more information on how Middle School Matters supports middle grade educators and other Education Reform Initiatives at the George W. Bush Institute, please visit www.bushcenter.org.


About Middle School Matters

Compelled by Mrs. Laura Bush’s conviction that “middle school is the last and best chance to prepare students for a successful high school career,” the Bush Institute founded Middle School Matters (MSM) in an effort to transform the formative middle grades and increase the number of students who are prepared for high school and post-secondary success.

The mission of MSM is to promote high quality research-based strategies and practices to drive the development of policies that lead to better student outcomes. The two methods to help achieve this are: 1) using solid research to develop practical tools and support for middle grade reform initiatives, school districts, and middle school campuses to apply in their work, and 2) promoting the importance of research-based strategies and practices with individuals making decisions for middle grade students.

Middle School Matters is possible because of the generous support of our funding partners: Bass Foundation; Meadows Foundation; Sid W. Richardson Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Esping Family Foundation.

For more information on the Bush Institute’s Middle School Matters and how to support our efforts to help students successfully complete high school by improving the middle grades, please contact Gina Rodriguez at

About the George W. Bush Institute

The mission of the Bush Institute at the George W. Bush Presidential Center is advancing freedom by expanding opportunities for individuals at home and across the globe. The Bush Institute is a non-partisan public policy institute committed to serious, independent research aimed at generating practical solutions to important public policy issues in the areas of education reform, human freedom, economic growth, and global health. Built on principles that guided President and Mrs. Bush in public life, the Bush Institute seeks to improve America’s public schools; foster the spread of democracy; save lives through global health programs; and promote free markets and economic growth. The Women’s Initiative works to improve access to education, health care, and economic opportunity for women and children around the world, and the Military Service Initiative honors our servicemen and servicewomen and helps them transition to civilian life.