This literature review analyzes current and past research over middle school grade configurations. Many large cities are integrating sixth, seventh, and eighth graders into elementaries because they believe middle schools are ineffective. These schools cite a lack of student achievement as the cause to reconfigure building grade spans. The research to support this idea does not look at what takes place within these schools however. When the middle school concept is implemented with fidelity, research has shown students can succeed. Four characteristics commonly missing are having structures to support relationships and learning, providing services to meet needs of students, including family in the education of their students, and having teachers be knowledgeable about educating adolescents.
Johnston, Katie, "Does Grade Configuration Affect Middle School Students’ Achievement?" (2017). Master's Theses & Capstone Projects. 36.