Helpful Links

Helpful Links


Departments Of Education | State | Regional

California Department of Education Taking Center Stage—Act II (TCSII): Ensuring Success and Closing the Achievement Gap for All of California’s Middle Grades Students – This web portal to middle grades research, resources, connections, and sample school practices has many features to help middle grades educators prepare all of their students for success.

Council of Chief State School Officers – A nationwide, nonprofit organization composed of chief education administrators. “CCSSO works on behalf of the state agencies that have primary authority for education in each state.” Also search this site to find information on the Middle Grades School State Policy Initiative (MGSSPI).

Education Commission of the States – ECS is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the states’ interest in education. It serves state policymakers at all levels of education (preschool through higher education), in all role groups (governors, legislators, and state and district officials). The core of the website is the Education Issues section, which provides a wealth of information on dozens of education issues, from accountability to vouchers.

Education Resource Organizations Directory (EROD) – Search this site for organizations that provide resources and/or assistance on a broad range of education-related topics. EROD currently contains contact and descriptive information about more than 2,950 national, regional, and state organizations.

Illinois State Board of Education – A comprehensive web site for the Illinois State Board of Education. Includes resources for parents and teachers.

Southern Maine Partnership – The Southern Maine Partnership is a school-university collaborative that includes 33 school districts, two independent schools, two colleges and the University of Southern Maine, focused on teacher development and school renewal in support of all learners. In an ongoing attempt to support teaching and learning in Maine, the Southern Maine Partnership has been developing a series of events focused on middle level issues.

Southern Regional Council – The SRC is dedicated to promoting racial justice, protecting democratic rights, and broadening civic participation.

Southern Regional Education Board – The Southern Regional Education Board is the nation’s first interstate compact for education. Created in 1948 by Southern states, SREB helps government and education leaders work cooperatively to advance education and, in doing so, improve the social and economic life of the region. This site also has information on their comprehensive school reform model, Making Middle Grades Work.

U.S. Department of Education – A great site to browse. Lots of information on government documents, programs, publications, grants, and people. The resources of the US government at your fingertips!



From Association of Middle Level Education:
• Ignite Student Intellect and Imagination in Language Arts
• Tools for Teaching Content Literacy
• Instructional Strategies for Teaching Content Vocabulary, Grades 4-12


Literacy Matters – This site focuses on adolescent literacy development. This excellent web resource is designed for teachers, parents, and adolescent learners. It offers a wide range of online professional development opportunities for teachers, literacy resources for teachers and parents (including lesson plans), and an interactive online activity for middle-grades students.

International Reading Association – The IRA is a professional membership organization dedicated to promoting high levels of literacy for all by improving the quality of reading instruction, disseminating research and information about reading, and encouraging the lifetime reading habit. CHeck out thier Adolescent Literacy section under “Topics and Issues in Reading”.

National Council of Teachers of English – NCTE works to advance teaching, research, and student achievement in English language arts at all scholastic levels. Use this site to explore the services and programs they offer, read about relevant education issues, possible funding sources, current literacy research, and much more.


National Organizations

American Association of School Administrators (AASA) – “The professional organization for over 16,500 educational leaders across North America and in many other countries.”

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) – “A non-profit, nonpartisan association of professional educators whose jobs cross all grade levels and subject areas. Committed to excellence in education, ASCD seeks to forge covenants in teaching and learning for the success of all learners.”

The College Board – A national membership association of schools and colleges whose aim is to facilitate the student transition to higher education.

National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) – This web site provides resources for educators, parents and students. Includes an on-line forum which discusses issues of importance to K-8 educators.

National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) – An excellent resource for practitioners, this site includes papers and information of interest to middle school educators and policy makers.

National Education Association (NEA) – The web site for the oldest and largest education organization committed to advancing the cause of public education in the United States.

Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE) – Since its inception in 1973, Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE) has been a voice for those committed to the educational and developmental needs of young adolescents. AMLE is the only national education association dedicated exclusively to those in the middle level grades. With over 30,000 members representing over 200,000 teachers, principals, central office personnel, professors, college students, parents, community leaders, and educational consultants across the United States, Canada, and 46 other countries, AMLE welcomes and provides support to anyone interested in the health and education of young adolescents. In addition, AMLE has a network of 58 affiliate organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia that strengthens its outreach to the international, regional, state, provincial, and local levels.

Learning Forward (formerly NSDC) – The Learning Forward web site provides resources and information on staff and professional development.

Parents for Public Schools – PPS is a national organization of grassroots chapters dedicated to recruiting families to stay in or come back to public schools, involving parents in more meaningful roles, and improving public schools community-wide through district-level involvement.


Education Week – This on-line version of the weekly newspaper for educators also provides an archive of past issues and a full text version of Teachers magazine.

The Kappan – The professional journal for educators published by the Phi Delta Kappa Society provides some full text articles on line. Be sure to see their special middle-grades school issue with articles authored by Forum members Joan Lipsitz, Anthony Jackson, Hayes Mizell, and Leah Meyer Austin.

AMLE Research Summaries – Association of Middle Level Education provides a variety of topic-based research summaries, including annotated references and additional resources.

Research in Middle Level Education (RMLE) Online – Association of Middle Level Education’s peer-reviewed, online research journal.

Teaching Quality research matters – This electronic publication written by the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality summarizes and evaluates recent research on teacher quality for those working to improve teaching policy in their states and school districts.


Center for the Prevention Research and Development (CPRD) – CPRD improves the quality of systems and programs that serve communities, families, and children, especially in disadvantaged environments, by conducting, promoting, and disseminating research and evaluation results to support data-based decision making and policy development.

Consortium on Policy Research in Education – This consortium unites five top research institutions engaged in improving school learning. Check out current projects, publications and resources of the consortium.

Education Resource Information Center (ERIC) – This searchable database isvery useful for conducting research and gathering information.

McREL’s Standards and Benchmarks Database – A collection of content standards and benchmarks for K-12 education. You can browse and search this site for specific content standards. You can also access full text versions of articles about standards.

Pathways to School Improvement – Published by North Central Regional Educational Lab, this site provides resources for school improvement. You can find current research and information as well as on-line discussions on current topics in education.

School ReformWebsites:

California GEAR UP – The purpose of the California GEAR UP program is to develop and sustain the organizational capacity of middle schools to prepare ALL students for high school and postsecondary education through the establishment of a statewide network of support. This web site provides current information, facilitates communication among all participating schools and partners, and provides college planning resources for the middle school community.

Coalition of Essential Schools –  One of the largest school reform efforts in the country. Use this site to link to Coalition schools across the country, read full text versions of articles published in HORACE, as well as research papers published by the Coalition. Includes a browsable index.

Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) –  This U.S. Department of Education program is designed to raise standards and build upon other state and local school efforts through NCLB, Title I, and other reform programs. The web site provides an application and guidelines, information on funding, and resources on school reform.

The Department of Education’s Office of Reform Assistance & Dissemination (ORAD) –  This US Department of Education web site supports comprehensive school reform by linking the education community with the best knowledge from education research, statistics, and practice.

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) –  This site provides information on the many comprehensive school reform projects and programs at EDC including the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), Center for Family, School and Community (FSC), and AIM.

The Education Trust – This organization promotes high academic standards for all students, but focuses primarily on low-income, Latino, and African American students. The Web site provides information on this organization, its mission, and its work.

Middle Start –  Middle Start is a comprehensive middle-grades improvement initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Initially aimed at improving educational experiences for all middle-grades students in Michigan, Middle Start has expanded to five states in the Mid South and has a special emphasis on young people who are economically disadvantaged. Middle Start has become a successful local, state, and national model for middle-grades school reform.

MiddleWeb –  This definitive middle-grades web site provides current research, news and information on middle-grades reform as well as an extensive list of resources and organizations of interest to parents, educators, policy makers, and administrators.

AMLE’s School Improvement Toolkit – AMLE’s Toolkit is a comprehensive process for evaluating your school based upon the principles of This We Believe.

Public Education Network –  Visit PEN’s Engaging in the Public School Reform page especially for the Middle Schools “Skills for Life” Initiative to find out more about how this Initiative envisions greater district, school, and community capacity to address the social and emotional learning needs of middle school children in five communities.

Turning Points Transforming Middle Schools – Turning Points is a New American Schools design for comprehensive middle school reform. It focuses on creating a professional collaborative culture and using data-based inquiry to improve teaching and learning for all students.

Urban Schools Publications:

Becoming a Successful Urban Teacher – shares the stories of 13 successful urban teachers. These teachers provide practical advice on everything from effective instructional strategies, gaining students’ cooperation, and managing a classroom, to developing curricula that match the interests and academic levels of the students they serve.


City Schools – The award winning research magazine about urban schools and communities published by North Central Regional Education Lab (NCREL). Includes full text articles from the first issue.

Council of the Great City Schools – This organization is made up of representatives from 50 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems. They advocate for K-12 education in inner-city schools across the country. Descriptions of 155 urban education programs are included as well as links to Urban Educator and other related articles.

Figuring It Out: Standards-Based Reforms in Urban Middle Grades – This book by Anne Lewis describes the experiences of teachers and principals in six urban communities across the country. Lewis draws important lessons from the schools’ experiences and describes character traits and leadership that must exist to keep people working for progress when change is slow and setbacks are common.

Long Beach Unified School District – A nationally-recognized pioneer in educational reform. Visit this site for information about LBUSD schools, policy, and academic standards.

Staff Development

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence – This US Department of Education web site offers quick access to hundreds of teaching and learning resources across the federal government; a place where teachers, federal agencies, and other organizations can begin forming partnerships; and information about efforts to support partnerships of federal agencies & teachers.

Middle Level Leadership Center – This site, developed by the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri-Columbia, aims to promote quality middle level education through the development and dissemination of knowledge about effective site-level leadership.

The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future – A “blue-ribbon group of 26 public officials, business and community leaders and educators who are broadly knowledgeable about education, school reform, and teaching.” The Commission is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is directed by Linda Darling-Hammond. The site includes briefing papers and a policy information center.

AMLE Onsite Professional Development – Association of Middle Level Education provides schools and districts with quality on-site staff development that focuses on the needs of your educational community. AMLE provides in-services, workshops, summer institutes, and long-term embedded professional development that meets your unique needs.

AMLE Staff Development Kits – ideal for teaching teams–are available from Association of Middle Level Education. Topics include Assessing Student Progress, Revitalizing Teams, Examining Student Work, and Student-Led Conferences.

Learning Forward – The Learning Forward web site provides resources and information on staff and professional development.

Walden University – The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership offers a M.S. in Education with a specialization in Middle Level Education is based on the AMLE/NCATE Standards for Middle Level Teacher Preparation at the master’s level. This online program is for busy teachers of young adolescents (10-14 years old) who want to learn more about the unique needs of this age group and develop additional skills to create academically excellent, developmentally responsive, and socially equitable middle grades schools and classrooms. The degree may be completed in less than two years.