The War Against Excellence: The Rising Tide of Mediocrity in America's Middle Schools

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Here, veteran teacher Cheri Pierson Yecke details the chronological history of the middle school movement in the U. S. by tracing its evolution from academically-oriented junior high schools to the dissolution of academics in the middle schools of the late 1980s and beyond. In this book, evidence is presented to show how leaders of this movement designed to use the middle school as a vehicle to promote non-academic goals, contrary to the desires of parents and the community. Favored instructional practices-such as the elimination of ability grouping and the rise in cooperative learning and peer tutoring-have produced coerced egalitarianism, where education performance is equalized by bringing the achievement of gifted and high ability students down to the level of mediocrity. The War against Excellence examines the impact of: * The reduction of academic expectations * Widespread elimination of ability grouping Features include: * Examples of how favored middle school instructional practices have been implemented in other countries, and * An analysis on the implications of these changes for the future of our country The influence of these changes has seriously crippled our middle schools in their obligation to provide a solid academic foundation for all students. Yecke provides research-based information that will appeal to parents and educators who want to confront problems with specific instructional practices and improve public education.