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Former First Lady Starts Education Initiative
posted by: Alix | February 10, 2011, 03:25 PM   

Former First Lady, librarian and current and longtime education advocate Laura Bush has announced a new education initiative through the President George W. Bush Institute in Houston. The program seeks to improve graduation rates by focusing on American middle schools.

The initiative, "Middle School Matters," was announced Wednesday in Houston at Stovall Middle School. "We know now from research that a lot of kids that drop out in high school really drop out in middle school. They just leave in high school,” said Mrs. Bush, "One of the goals will be making sure they are prepared for high school.”

For the program, the institute has compiled research implemented by various institutions and foundations on what determines success in middle school classrooms for both students and teachers. Using this research, the institute plans to take that information and work with individual schools to implement new practices.

The program’s researchers have focused on implementing policies that reflect  11 specific elements for success, including school leadership, reading interventions, effective teachers, dropout prevention and school, student, family and community support.

"Middle school is such a time of transition," said Kerri Briggs, director of education reform for the Bush Institute. "Lots of things are going on with them. It's those middle school years that we think are foundational to success in high school."

The George W. Bush Institute, which is has been operational for over a year, focuses on education reform, global health, human freedom and economic growth. Last year, the institute announced its first initiative, Alliance to Reform Education Leadership or APREL to focus on improving and supporting school principals.

Recent research has shown that middle school is a pivotal point in the educational life of a child. This new program will undoubtedly have a positive effect on leveraging best practices for middle schools all over the country.

What do you think of this new program? Will it make an impact on American middle school students?
Comment below.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by evajill, February 10, 2011

This is great to hear. Love the middle school approach. So true. Worked 7th grade in North Long Beach/Compton. Need to catch them in 6th/7th grade before they "fall." Love those kids.
education studentYouth Centor director
written by Deb White Cloud MI, February 10, 2011

I think that is great :) Just tell DC to butt out :)

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