Middle School Is a Horrible Idea
There's no point in beating around the bush: middle school sucked, hard. You had to go from being the oldest kid at your elementary school to being the youngest kid at some strange new school. Adolescence is hard enough to deal with on your own -- stirring you into a hormone stew with a few hundred other kids, all taking to puberty like a duck takes to auto repair, just makes the whole situation that much worse.
As a result, you probably spent most of middle school wishing you could go back to elementary school. Now that you're an adult, of course, you know that moving tweens on is the right thing to do because ... sorry, we drew a blank there. What were we saying again?
But You Were Right ...
Astoundingly, it turns out that locking a bunch of acne-riddled hormone junkies in a big building together is a fucking terrible
idea. Middle schools have a crime rate 30 percent higher
than elementary schools. Grades suffer, too -- a study of New York City schoolchildren
found a sharp drop in math and English scores in students who went to separate middle schools, compared to kids in K-8 schools.
You might expect a difficult transitory period -- what with the shock of moving to a new building and all the time spent discovering Internet porn -- but the bigger problem is that kids who go to middle school don't recover
. That drop in test scores follows them right on through high school
and makes it much more likely that they'll drop out of school altogether. If you have aspirations of raising a crack-addled streetwalker and you missed the boat on that whole in utero drug use thing, sending them to middle school appears to be a damn good way to play catch-up.
have already started jumping off the middle school ship. Even Baltimore, which The Wire
taught us is just one big, fetid pot of heroin and cops with pickled livers, has seen the light: They're in the process of shuttering their middle schools and returning to the days of keeping sixth through eighth graders in elementary school. We assume the abandoned middle schools will be left standing as memorials to the crushed dreams of the countless students who pathetically floundered their way through them. That, or they'll be fenced off as toxic sites due to hormone permeation.