Breaking Ranks in the Middle
Breaking Ranks in the Middle, a follow-up to Breaking Ranks II: Strategies for Leading High School Reform, provides middle level leaders with knowledge, strategies and tools to use to engage the middle level community – staff, students, parents & community members – as they work together to create an academically rigorous, personalized learning environment that leads to improved student performance.
It addresses Collaborative Leadership and Professional Learning Communities through building the school’s leadership capacity; the use of organizational structures that facilitate collaboration; and incorporating staff, student, parent and community voice into the improvement process; Personalizing the School Environment ensures that students have a sense of belonging at the school, have ownership in the learning process and that every student is provided with support and equal access to all coursework and programs, and Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment is addressed by identifying essential learnings that are aligned across grade levels and schools; by ensuring instruction is challenging, engaging and relevant; and by using assessments that are balanced, varied and used to inform instruction.
The book is grounded in the middle school philosophy and was developed by commission of middle level practitioners and experts had an active hand in developing the book. Its practical approach to school improvement is applicable to any configuration of school that houses middle level students, those from age 10-15. BRIM provides middle level principals and their leadership teams with illustrations of possible entry points or areas in which to begin their work, strategies for implementing sustainable improvement, and profiles of successes, challenges, and results of implementation. The strategies imbedded in BRIM are replicable in urban, suburban, and rural schools.