Why Middle School?
According to Austin ISD’s Department of Research and Evaluation, the most important predictor of overall dropout risk in Austin is failing the 9th grade TAKS (reading or math) or STAAR standardized tests. By supporting struggling middle school students to succeed in these subjects, APIE’s programs help reduce Austin ISD’s dropout rate.
A student’s level of academic achievement in the eighth grade has a significant impact on their college and career readiness by the time they graduate from high school. Research by Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University concludes that the extent of middle school success is a huge indicator of whether students will “close achievement gaps, graduate from high school, and be prepared for college.”
During their middle school years, it is vital that students receive encouragement and support, since 50% of middle school students suffer from feelings of disengagement. By supporting students during these transitional years, their academic persistence and ultimate career success can be enhanced.
APIE’s programs are aligned with Austin ISD’s curriculum, and Classroom Coaching is intended to help students in the subjects that they find most challenging. Classroom Coaches function as tutors and mentors and build bonds with students as they shape ideas about their academic and professional futures. By ensuring that students are on track to meet college readiness standards during middle school, APIE empowers students to excel in high school, college, and career, thus boosting their chances at an improved economic future.
Candace McCray, Development Intern