Over the last few months, we have asked readers to tell us about the best middle schools they have encountered. Having heard so many horror stories, it was a surprise to read e-mails and letters from more than 500 parents, students, educators and community members pointing out great teachers and wise principals making real progress with children at that itchy age. [ed.: I'm surprised] The results are the following snapshots, in alphabetical order, of 30 area middle schools that are doing things right.
We have provided some basic information on each school, including how long each principal has been at the school and the most telling and universal measure of a middle school's level of challenge: what percentage of eighth-graders complete Algebra I.
Unstuck in the Middle
Sunday, April 15, 2007; Page W12
I count at least 5 affluent middle schools in the bunch. There may be more, but I don't feel like looking them all up on School Matters.
Here are the 5:
Capitol Hill Day School
D.C., 225 students, pre-kindergarten to 8; principal Catherine Peterson (22 years); tuition $20,590; 62 percent white, 38 percent other; 100 percent completed algebra.
Rachel Carson Middle School
Herndon, Fairfax County, 1,149 students, grades 7 and 8; principal August "Augie" Fratalli (four years); 6 percent low income, 59 percent white, 6 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic, 28 percent Asian; 64 percent completed algebra.
Cooper Middle School
McLean, Fairfax County, 931 students, grades 7 and 8; principal Arlene Randall (10 years); 1 percent low income, 76 percent white, 1 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic, 14 percent Asian; 59 percent completed algebra.
Kilmer Middle School
Vienna, Fairfax County, 1,070 students, grades 7 to 8; principal Deborah Hernandez (two years); 12 percent low income, 59 percent white, 4 percent black, 10 percent Hispanic, 21 percent Asian; 54 percent completed algebra.
Piccowaxen Middle School
Newburg, Charles County, 492 students, grades 6 to 8; principal Kenneth Schroeck (1 year); 14.2 percent low income, 81 percent white, 16 percent black, 2 percent Hispanic, 0.4 percent Asian; 44 percent completed algebra.
compare and contrast
Irvington Middle School: approximately 30% complete algebra
$21,000 per pupil spending