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Bush Institute and MCPER Publish New Middle School Matters Field Guide

April 12, 2016
This week, the George W. Bush Institute’s Middle School Matters initiative and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin (MCPER) published the second edition of the Middle School Matters Field Guide, a collection of research-based principles, practices, and strategies deemed essential for middle school student achievement.

Dallas, TX (April 12, 2016) -- This week, the George W. Bush Institute’s Middle School Matters initiative and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin (MCPER) published the second edition of the Middle School Matters Field Guide,  a collection of research-based principles, practices, and strategies deemed essential for middle school student achievement.  A compilation of these principles from the highest quality research has never before existed.  

“Research-based strategies are key to student achievement in the classroom,” said Holly Kuzmich, Interim President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. “Middle School Matters has brought together the work of expert researchers in the field and easy-to-use educator tools to help prepare students for high school and post-secondary success.”

The field guide, which builds upon the research and practical strategies of the first Middle School Matters Field Guide released in 2013, covers all content areas, including science and social studies, and applies to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, including English language learners. It contains examples and illustrations for each recommended practice to help educators understand and then implement these practices in their classrooms.

“The quality of research in education is uneven, which can make it difficult for teachers to know which research is best to help their students,” said Mark Dynarski, a Bush Institute Fellow and the Founder and President of Pemberton Research.  “We set out to eliminate this guesswork by developing a field guide that makes the highest quality research-based practices, interventions, and strategies easily accessible for middle grade educators.”

Middle School Matters is a Bush Institute initiative focused on delivering high quality, research-based strategies and practices to middle grade educators to support student achievement.  The initiative team compiled the best available research, translated it into practical strategies, and worked directly with school leaders and teachers to implement Middle School Matters in classrooms.

“The high-quality research used as the foundation for Middle School Matters and the field guide was collected from a variety of studies published over the last 15 years by the best team of researchers and educators we could find,” said Dr. Sharon Vaughn, Manuel J. Justiz Endowed Chair in Education and Executive Director of The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin.

To date, over 750 educators in 21 schools in several states have been formally trained in Middle School Matters research-based practices, and many more have accessed the materials on their own.  Vaughn, a Bush Institute Fellow, and her Meadows Center team have partnered with the Bush Institute for the last three years on the initiative.

The new Middle School Matters Field Guide and associated toolkits are available for free to all educators at http://www.middleschoolinstitute.org/fieldguide

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About the Bush Institute:
Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of cultivating leaders, fostering policies to solve today’s most pressing challenges, and taking action to save and change lives. It raises current and thought-provoking issues and builds programs to address the challenges facing our nation and our world. The work of the Bush Institute is inspired by the principles that guided the Bushes in public life: education is the foundation of a successful life; freedom is a universal human desire; free enterprise is the engine of economic prosperity; and every human life is precious.

To learn more about our work, visit www.bushcenter.org.

About Middle School Matters:
Middle School Matters works with educators, researchers, and non-profits to encourage school districts to adopt key practices and core policies, backed by the highest-quality research, in order to improve student achievement. 

The Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI) was launched to translate research into practice and to study implementation by directly supporting districts and middle schools.  The Institute, a partnership between the Bush Institute and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin, has developed resources that help educators and researchers use data-driven research to guide their work.  These resources are used to increase the number of students prepared for success in high school and beyond.