What We Do
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Middle School Matters

Middle School Matters provides educators with proven, research-based strategies to increase the number of middle grade students who are prepared for high school and postsecondary success. The program helps districts improve reading, writing, and math instruction and use data systems to identify students who are at-risk of dropping out of school, enabling students to improve their performance, stay in school, and put themselves on a path to high school graduation and beyond.

Core Components

Middle School Matters provides tools based in high-quality research that help teachers and principals with:

  • Reading, writing, and math instruction
  • Advanced reasoning and cognitive strategies
  • Dropout prevention strategies
  • School climate, culture, and student supports

Additionally, the Middle School Matters Research Platform and Field Guide detail the 13 research- and evidence-based content dimensions that improve student achievement and classroom instruction in the middle grades.

Read the Field Guide

1 in 5

Nationwide, 1 in 5 students fails to graduate high school on time, with graduation rates significantly lower for low-income, African-American, and Hispanic students.

Middle School Matters Institute

The Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI) was launched to translate research into practical tools and to share those tools directly with middle schools.  The Institute, a partnership between the Bush Institute and the University of Texas’ Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, deploys these resources to help schools increase the number of students who are prepared to enter high school and earn a diploma ready for college and the workforce.

To date, MSMI has provided resources and support to over 140 schools and districts through PD on Demand and over 30 schools through targeted and sustained support plans.

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Related Articles

Research shows that students at-risk of dropping out can be identified as early as middle school.

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“We have taken what we have learned from Middle School Matters and built it in district-wide. This initiative is re-igniting our excitement for teaching and learning.” - Dr. Leticia Pena, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, Texas

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