Education News

Will Merging MS/HS Improve Student Learning?

Students transitioning into seventh grade and later into ninth grade tend to suffer the greatest academic setback according to research; therefore, Cincinnati school district is combining middle and high schools.

The school district began phasing out middle school buildings in the 1990’s and is now proposing to combine middle schools and high schools to improve student performance.

The move does not come without risk nor criticism. Supporters believe that giving younger students access to academic options will help them improve their academic performance. “Superintendent Mary Ronan says the change means better academic performance, such as younger students being able to take Algebra 1 in the eighth grade.”

A report released last fall also supports the K-8 and 7-12 school models. “Moving to K-8 schools can “substantially improve” K-12 student performance compared with the separate middle school model, according to a September report by the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy organization.”

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Photo Courtesy: Gary Landers/Cincinnati Enquirer/AP
Seventh graders Tajah Banks, from left, Landin Bates, and Aig’ne Clifford, discuss the book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” in the Language Arts class of teacher Dawnetta Hayes at James N. Gamble Montessori in Winton Hills on Dec. 16. Cincinnati Public Schools is converting eight of its high schools to grade 7-12 schools rather than grades 9-12. This class is a mixed, 7th and 8th grade class