NMSA Announces Name Change

NMSA President Joan Jarrett and new Executive Director Will Waidelich talk about the name change.  Here’s some points made in the interview from Education Talk Radio:

  • The middle school movement started in Pennsylvania.
  • Dr. Waidelich (pronounced like Wade-Lick) comes from the Future Farmers of America organization with a background in curriculum design, organizational finance and management.
  • NMSA name change reflects the changes in middle level education:  it’s a philosophy, not a building or even a specific group of grades.
  • Teacher training universities are growing their programs in middle level education.
  • Convention information:  Louisville, KY this November with keynote speakers and information on best practice.  “Giant array of product and visitors . . .”
  • Middle schools need to be developmentally responsive, challenging students academically, empowering both students and teachers in academic skills and life choices, and being an advocate for children.
  • Integrated exploratory curriculum and multiple learning approaches.
  • High schools are finding out they too need to embrace some of the philosophies of the middle school.  Balfanz’s research shows one high school student dropping out every 10 seconds.
  • Best configuration for a middle school:  depends on the developmental progress of the kids.  Generally 5th through 9th grade is accepted.
  • An essential component of every middle school: the student is guided by an adult advocate.
  • 25,000 members
  • education-talkradio.org for audio archives.