Middle school transition : the role of timing and school characteristics
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Achievement and school involvement of children in middle schools in 5th and 6th grades are compared to those of same-grade peers in elementary schools. Both classroom quality and school structure (size and composition) are tested as mediators in a national longitudinal sample of about 900 youth. The results indicate: a) youth in middle schools achieve at least as well as their same-grade peers in elementary schools, but those in middle schools have lower school attachment; b) middle and elementary schools have equivalent classroom quality, but differ in size and student composition; c) the lower school involvement of 6th grade middle school students is attributable to school size; d) the results are similar for boys and girls.
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