Another letter today supporting so-called "bookends!" "Recent ELA test scores at a 55 percent and 42 percent passing rate for our seventh- and eighth-graders respectively, show we need to better prepare our children at the elementary level for middle school." and "So, let us bring our children together when they are in fourth grade, a time when they are socially and emotionally more open to making new friends, rather than in seventh grade, when they are experiencing the social and emotional angst of adolescents desperate to fit in with a whole new set of peers."
To this I say, the bookend approach does not erase the difficult transition -- it's still there, the change to the big school with 9-12 graders. It simply adds another! Why would this increase ELA achievement, rather than exacerbating the problem and moving its appearance to a younger grade? As well as generating myriad other issues in learning?