The importance of the middle grades cannot be overstated. According to research, the level of academic achievement that students attain by eighth grade has a larger impact on a student’s college and career readiness than anything that happens academically in high school. Additionally, research has shown that “early warning signs” in attendance, behavior, and performance in math or English in the middle grades can predict high school graduation rates.

As a result, NASSP seeks to ensure that all students exit the middle grades prepared for success and on track to graduate from high school college- and career-ready. NASSP supports efforts to strengthen federal policy and investments in developing and utilizing early warning identification and intervention systems to identify those students most at-risk of dropping out, and to assist school districts in providing proven interventions to help all middle school students succeed.

Legislative or Policy Priorities

  • Middle School Technical Education Program (STEP) Act (S. 1814/ H.R. 3785)

NASSP Resources