January 23, 2013

Junior high school v. middle school?

When I was a kid in Los Angeles, the public school system had "junior high schools" for seventh to ninth graders. Today, the same system has "middle schools" for sixth to eighth graders. For example, Millikan in Sherman Oaks, where I went to summer school in the early 1970s, was a junior high school back then, but when my son attended it, it was now a middle school. 

I've never seen an explanation for this change.

Perhaps junior high schools were intended for an earlier age when finishing 9th grade was considered adequate?

I have to say I think the new system may be better. I attended a genteel Catholic school from first to eighth grade and then a Catholic all boys high school, and had a nice time at both. I didn't like summer school at the public junior high school, though. Looking back, the social scene was immaturely sexualized. 

So, it may make sense to take ninth graders, who are feeling their oats, away from being top dogs in junior high school and instead make them the bottom of the pecking order in high school.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

The new trend in public education in upper middle class LA is to do away with middle school entirely, under the ostensible theory that it encourages the older kids to mature and become surly, sex-obsessed adolescents more slowly.

An added benefit is that it keeps upper middle class kids in the generally good neighborhood schools two years longer and delays when parents have to start springing for private school. Hesby Oaks on the Encino-Sherman Oaks border has gone K-8 and real estate values in the neighborhood have shot up largely as a result.

Douglas Knight said...

I was recently talking to a California principal who had retired to minor administrator/teacher on the east coast. She held that isolating middle grades was terrible. I'm not sure I remember correctly, but I don't think she saw so much difference between 1-8 and 7-12, but thought that 6-8 was unadulterated evil (and probably saw 7-9 the same way). Her opinion was so strong that I felt uncomfortable asking for details.

Anonymous said...

All the examples of junior high schools with which I am familiar were only for grades 7 and 8. High schools were 9-12. Elementary schools were 1-6.

I my experience (in Northern California), the big change to middle schools involved moving the sixth graders out of elementary school and into the new middle schools.

Alfa158 said...

That is the rationale I had always heard for the changeover. Too many kids were in full swing to puberty by the ninth grade so the developmental disparity between 7th and 9th graders was getting too big for the junior high system.

Steve Sailer said...

"The new trend in public education in upper middle class LA is to do away with middle school entirely."

That makes sense. Public elementary schools are smaller and thus draw from a smaller locale. Carpenter, a 1-5 school, south of Ventura Blvd. near Laurel Canyon, is highly satisfactory to local parents, but the middle schools are bigger and draw from larger districts extending farther north, so the South of the Boulevard parents struggle to get their sixth graders into either exclusive public magnets or pony up for private school. I'm sure South of the Boulevard parents would love to have Carpenter enlarged to teach a few more years, but keep the district boundaries the same.

WMarkW said...

My former school system did the same thing since my day, for the perfectly logical reason that my state counts graduation credits starting in 9th grade. I never did understand why JHS included the first year of earning HS credits.

SGOTI said...

I attended a school under the old junior high scheme, with primary being K-6, junior high 7th/8th, senior high starting in 9th grade.

It worked well, but man, did it also disappoint. I went from being a big-shot forward on our basketball team to a shooting guard in one abrupt summer.

pat said...

There is a lot of churning in education but little real change. There doesn't need to be. We know how to teach kids stuff and have for a long long time.

As everyone who reads you must know the big source of the variance in education is among the students not the teachers and certainly not among curricula or education administration variations.

When I went to Junior High that was the progressive and forward looking grade arrangement of the day. Then I transferred to a Catholic Military High School - not exactly forward thinking - but OK academically. I transferred back to a public high school for my last year.

I don't think all those external changes made much difference. Not compared to the changes taking place in me. I was a beardless little guy who was put in the "slow" track classes. Just a few years or so later I was bigger than everyone else and smarter too.

Who had time to notice school changes? I was struggling just to try to understand this new person I had become.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Grouping school-aged children into 3 distinct clusters by grade offers the drug-dealers 3 age-specific captive audiences.

The Therapeutic State pushers target each of the 3 captive groups by offering their wares on a prescription only basis. The teacher/administrator combines function as and are incentivized to perform as sales agents and gateways.

Illicit pushers generally target the upper two captive groups - Middle and High School - by offering their wares for cash and/or sex. The Hollywood/music industry combine functions as the advertising & marketing agency.

Generally speaking, the more expensive a given school district's real estate, the greater the variety, market penetration and quality of both prescription and illicit drugs available to students.

cipher

Gilbert Ratchet said...

I attended a public K-6 school, one of four in my hometown. All of these schools fed into a school for grades 7 and 8, after which people would attend the local high school (grades 9-13 at the time). The grade 7-8 school was formerly known as a junior high school, but our principal insisted on calling it a "senior public" school, as though to suggest, don't get too uppity, kids, you are nowhere near high schoolers yet.

Anonymous said...

"Outrage as 18-year-old high school basketball star taking D.C. by storm is revealed to be almost 21

Rosters for three Congo-based teams list Junior Etou's birth year as 1992, which would make him 20 years old
At that age, Etou is as many as six years older than his opponents
School claims he has provided proof he is 18"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2266686/Junior-Etou-Outrage-high-school-basketball-star-thought-18-turn-21.html

Anonymous said...

Beverly Hills 90210/Sarah Chronicles actor Brian Austin Green used to send his kid to Carpenter elementary and got his then-girlfriend Megan Fox to shoot a video to protest against funding cuts. Those are Carpenter parents and kids she's cavorting with: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/7d5ec0278e/megan-fox-is-hot-for-teachers

HAR said...

"All the examples of junior high schools with which I am familiar were only for grades 7 and 8. "

Same here. Is this a regional difference? So if ninth grade is part of middle school in California, does that mean high school is only three years?

jody said...

most school districts are junior high 7-8, high school 9-12.

elvisd said...

I'm enjoying teaching in the same school setting that I was schooled in: K-12.

Steve Sailer said...

Yes, back in L.A. in the 1970s, public high schools were only grades 10 to 12.

As Pat says, a lot of changes in education are churn for the sake of churn. The job of reorganizing everything to fit the latest fad serves to get a lot of people in the education business who are tired of other people's children out of classrooms and into child-free offices where they can interact all day with other grown-ups.

MC said...

No arrangement will ever eliminate the awfulness of grades 7-9. Except maybe homeschool.

Anonymous said...

I attended a genteel Catholic school from first to eighth grade and then a Catholic all boys high school


Ah, the root of Steve's anti-Irish animus is exposed!

Anonymous said...

Uhh, for all y'all SWPLs who grew up in Whitopias - Blacks become sexually mature at MUCH younger ages than whites - up to two or three years earlier [on average].

It is not at all uncommon for a 14 year old black boy to have the musculature and sexual maturity of an 18 or 19 year old young white adult.

Bottom Line: More and more NAMs in our schools means more and more young white pre-pubescent children intermingling with fully mature NAM thugs.

Quincy James said...

This from Wikipedia:

"Junior high schools were created for the purpose of "bridging the gap between the elementary and the high school," a concept credited to Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard University. The faculty is organized into academic departments that operate more or less independently of one another. The middle school movement in the United States saw this model as inadequately addressing the intended purpose of transition by maintaining an emphasis on the high school model, as reflected in the "junior high" designation.

The middle school concept often involves a group of teachers from different disciplines working as a team with the same group of students of the same grade level, with each teacher teaching a different subject. This format facilitates interdisciplinary units, where part or all of the entire team teaches on the same general topic from the perspective of different disciplines. Students are assigned a homeroom. This is intended to foster as a sense of belonging, for social and emotional support to students transitioning from the usual single classroom in elementary school. Various discussions and activities occur in homeroom."


So basically, it just sounds like they liberal-ed it up, like they did with everything else in schools around that time.

Carol said...

My home town was Eagle Rock and ERHS had a junior high next to the senior high. But by the time I was of age we had moved to a district on the border of El Monte. There was no junior high and I felt quite deprived, mainly because I was so eager to get into HS type classes and move on to college.

I guess it was just as well, if the middle schools are such hothouses. I wasn't interested in that. As such it was just one long extended elementary school experience. I was surprised that there was even a graduation ceremony.

Sheila said...

When I attended public school in Maryland in the 60s and 70s, elementary was K-6, junior high was 7-9, and high school was 10-12. Here in Texas, elementary is K-5, middle school is 6-8, high school is 9-10, and senior high school is 11-12.

Middle school was quite a culture shock for me, moving from my all-White elementary school to having to dodge blacks in the hallway (they liked flipping up White girls' dresses) and steering clear of the black tables in the cafeteria.

To avoid the unnecessary early sexualisation of middle school, I kept my boys in private Christian school from K-8. The older one did okay in public high school, although he learned almost nothing. I'd almost consider keeping my younger in private school all the way through, but we can't afford it.

Auntie Analogue said...


You nailed it, Mr. Sailer, all that churn on top of churn is nothing more than careerist make-work and featherbedding for the parasites of the "educator" class.

"American History and practical math / You study them hard hoping to pass."

Unfortunately American History and practical math have been purged from the giant expensive playpens which we still presume to call schools but which seem not to educate. And kids no longer have wait for "three o'clock rolls around" for them to scamper "straight to the juke joint," as these days children go through their entire schoolday wired to their personal entertainment devices.

Anonymous said...

Off Topic:

A new play about Pim Fortuyn and Walter Duranty by Roger Simon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0985905204/thenewcriterio

Mr. Anon said...

I attended a junior high-school in California (Bay Area) in the late 70s. At that time, in that place, elementary was K-6, junior high 7-8, and high school was 9-12. Junior high was by far the worst for cliquishness and bullying.

I find it hard to believe that a social dominance heirarchy is already established among six year olds. I remember being able to sense that there was such a structure by the fifth or sixth grades, but it didn't seem that important.

What, I think, caused the cliquishness and bullying in junior high was two things: 1.) the sexual frustration of the higher-T boys who couldn't get any action being diverted into agression, and 2.) the mixing together of kids from different elementary schools - and not different in terms of social or economic background, just different. Bullies tended to bully the kids who had gone to different K-6 schools. Perhaps it's harder to bully or generally be mean to some kid whom you've known since kindergarten.

Whiskey said...

Junior High is a hot-house of sexualized goings on, with the early developers winning the lottery, for the most part, and those who develop later getting screwed, for the most part.

It is worst for boys, as Steve says, because pretty much everything related to confidence and sociality particularly with women is based on early success.

And as noted, Black kids mature physically earlier and have a huge advantage, dominance and socialability wise. Even though, the price for that is a huge cognitive gap making them worse than useless for most highly cognitive task.

Today's society however tends to set Junior High-High School in amber; real abilities in cognitive functions are not highly rewarded outside of a few hedge funds (Wall Street is shedding jobs like crazy); Jay-Z is worth half a billion, while plenty of able Phds in Physics drive cabs.

Junior High and High School is great for early maturing girls, and boys. And for the most part, society all across the West has adopted those values.

Consider this, when was the last time you saw a women's movie, series, etc. that had a woman making the smart move to avoid Mr. Sexy and get Mr. Smart-Dependable? Instead what sells, heavily, is the stories of Jane Average being able to snag Mr. Sexy, often by cheating on Mr. Smart-Dependable (HBO's Necessary Roughness is a good example). Society overvalues sexiness and undervalues cognitive ability.

Anonymous said...

My Junior HS on Long Island (1977-1979) was from 7-8 and a complete disaster. The kids were completely out of control for the time. The funny thing was that my grammar school was good and my HS was great. It was just that age and that time.

agnostic said...

Sounds like the junior high grouping of grades 7 through 9 would also be sexually unbearable for males because you'd have the 7th and 8th grade boys lusting after the 9th grade girls. They'd have better luck trying to lasso a hummingbird with dental floss.

At least with 6-8 graders together, the oldest girls are only about 13, so not really near their peak. And the youngest boys are 11, so lots of them are probably too awkward to think of approaching girls yet.

The 7-9 graders is totally different. The oldest girls are 14, which is one year closer to maturity, hence they'd rate themselves a lot higher than a 13 year-old would. And the youngest guys are 12, another year closer to maturity, and so more willing to take risks approaching girls.

Boys taking greater risks toward even more unattainable girls can't end well.

There's that whole yearning, driving side of power pop music from the Byrds through Big Star and Tom Petty to the Gin Blossoms. At first it sounds just vaguely "adolescent" emotionally, but now that I think about it, it must have been what junior high felt like -- all those 9th grade cuties so close, yet so far from the 7th grade boy.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/01/23/futuristic-blues/

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/01/23/chinese-students-pour-in-to-american-private-schools/

Yellow Pupil.

Torn and Frayed said...

Growing up in NoCal in the late seventies, we were the last class to have 1-7 elementary, 8-9 junior high, and 10-12 high school. After our year they added a year to high school and took away a year from elementary school.

Now I live in Europe and the system is different. Primary school is 1-6 and secondary school is 7-12. My son just entered secondary school. What they do is spilt them up into three groups of 7-8, 9-10, 11-12. Each group has its own recess area and cafeteria. The older kids are allowed to leave the campus at lunch. This way the young kids aren’t terrorized by the older ones and they really enjoy being in the big school.

By the way, elite schools are still free where I live. The best schools have very aggressive curricula and they are not the least bit hesitant to flunk kids. That fact makes parents hesitate before placing them in such a school. Up until a few years ago the school principal would decide which kids were accepted, often based on class biases. The Socialists changed all that, now it is by geography and they have to save 20% of the places for “disadvantaged kids” . In any case not too many ghetto kids sign up and those that cannot keep up get the boot after two years on academic grounds, and much earlier on disciplinary grounds if they step out of line.

Interestingly, the last all girls school (which recently opened its doors to boys) was packed full of Muslim girls (women) who were five to six years older than their normal-aged cohorts. What happened was that they were placed in this school to keep them away from boys.. But this is one of the toughest schools around; only say the top 20% of local girls could pass. Most of these Muslim girls would flunk year after year. Any local parents would have pulled their kid out and placed them in a less demanding school. The Muslim parents reacted differently and refused to put them in a co-ed institution and so a class where the girls are supposed to be 15 there would only be a few girls of this age and the rest of the class was dominated by rather dull 21 year old chicks in head scarves. Going co-ed will eventually save this school from this problem.

CJ said...

Educated in a remote area of Canada in the 1960s, it was grades 1-8 for elementary and 9-13 for high school. (Yes, 13 grades. That ended in the 1970s, but the practice of allowing grade 13 credits to be used in first-year university had already almost disappeared.) Rural and small-town school boards did not have the funds for more school buildings; the first junior high schools I ever heard of were in Toronto suburbs, and I believe they were grades 7-10. They have always seemed like a terrible idea to me. The theory that they are essentially driven by a desire to create education jobs outside the classroom is plausible.

Quebec didn't have them in either the English or French school systems, but I believe they have now appeared in Montreal and Quebec City. BTW, when I was a student both English and French schools in Quebec started students one year later, meaning Grade 1 was seven-year-olds and not six-year-olds. This did no harm that I could see; of course it could never be re-instiuted today because of the daycare function of contemporary schools.

Anonymous said...

I taught Junior High for several years and your last statement was correct. You do NOT want 9th graders to be the oldest students in the building. They are insufferable. They need to be the littlest fish in the pond.

Anonymous said...


Consider this, when was the last time you saw a women's movie, series, etc. that had a woman making the smart move to avoid Mr. Sexy and get Mr. Smart-Dependable? Instead what sells, heavily, is the stories of Jane Average being able to snag Mr. Sexy, often by cheating on Mr. Smart-Dependable (HBO's Necessary Roughness is a good example). Society overvalues sexiness and undervalues cognitive ability.


Yup, which means there are plenty of really great guys for attractive sensible young women to choose from. That is how I married a smart guy who is a saint. Those idiot chicks were chasing Mr. Cool and Hot and now they are old, poor, used and lonely still out there working some soul sucking job to make ends meet. Some wised up before they were too old and got someone decent but not awesome.

Anonymous said...

Although I think the switch was mostly change for change' sake, it might have been partly to smooth "elementary school" (now K-5) test scores, since "the gap" grows with age in a non-linear fashion.

I miss the "Richard Henry Dana Junior Junior High School" in Arcadia, CA, though. Now it is merely the "Richard Henry Dana Junior Middle School" and that name is definitely less memorable. Also when the Arcadia School District changed the name they sent a real vandal to wreck the elegant signage on the main building, leaving ugly scars on its face.

Anonymous said...

"She held that isolating middle grades was terrible. I'm not sure I remember correctly, but I don't think she saw so much difference between 1-8 and 7-12, but thought that 6-8 was unadulterated evil."

I think that middle school is bad because the older students feel no responsibility for the younger, and need not set a good example; and the younger need not look up to the older, do not look to them for guides to behavior.

In schools with a wider range of grades this behavior comes naturally, and everyone is more likely to behave.
Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

Every school district seems to do something a little different. Often times the definition of what is a middle school will shift, due to either school construction or school closures. That is, it can be a somewhat arbitrary partitioning, where eighth graders are repatriated to elementary schools or promoted to high schools. I attended a public school where junior high and high school were in the same building but on different floors. A recent increase in the local Hispanic population forced the district to reopen a mothballed building and move the junior high out of the high school and into new facilities.

I can see how some districts might define middle school as a place where puberty begins and ends for most of the kids in a kind of rolling second order phase transition. Specialized counseling can be made available to kids coping with physical change, and bullying is carefully policed.

CS said...

I've often wondered what the difference is myself. In the district I am in, 7th & 8th grades were Junior High School when I was growing up (almost 30 years ago). Since then they have moved the building and changed the name to Middle School but it's still the same grades.

Dutch Boy said...

Our local MS in California just reverted back to a 7-8 system from a 6-8 with the elementary schools going back to K-6. The situation with the 6-8 was so dismal for my oldest son that it convinced us to send out daughters to a private elementary/MS just to avoid it. Mind you, this is not one of the worst MS - those have resident policemen with reinforcements at lunchtime to prevent rioting by the usual suspects.

not a hacker said...

Lemme clue y'all in to the one big advancement in NorCal education between elementary and junior high. You know that big room where you eat lunch and have assemblies and plays and such? Well, K-6 it was called the "multi-use" room. Then in junior high, they started calling it the "multi-purpose" room. And they insisted on that difference. Must have occasioned a lot of yakking at a lot of meetings.

Dahinda said...

My junior high outside Chicago is still a junior high. One of the few that still is. They added 6th graders to it. Back when I went there it was just 7th and 8th. 9th was high school.

Ed said...

I went to a sort-of-fancy secnod tier private school in New York City in the 1980s. Grades 5-8 was called "Middle School". I had no idea there was anything called "Junior High" until well after I graduated college, though as an adult I had older freinds who referred to those grades as "Grammer School".

"Junior High" sounds at least a bit like a prole concept.

Even at my school, I remember the social atmosphere as being immature and oversexualized. Actual high school was something of an improvement in that regard. There is a strong argument for all-girls and all-boys schools for the years falling right after puberty.

Anthony said...

A lot of the adjustments to the actual grade borders of middle school are based on school populations - if there are too many kids at the elementary school, one solution is to make the middle school a 6-8 instead of 7-8. I was born in 1966, and most schools I was aware of were divided K-6, 7-8, 9-12, though many had recently changed from K-6, 7-9, 10-12. Configuring schools K-5, 6-8, 9-12 happened later. Where I live now, there's talk of consolidating a middle school with a high school because there aren't enough kids to keep both schools running near capacity, while the local Catholic schools are K-8 and 9-12.

Berkeley divided its schools K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12, with the K-3 schools in the flatlands and 4-6 schools in the hills, sharing common attendance areas, so that everyone got bussed for 3 years. They seem to have stopped that and now have K-5, 6-8, 9-12.

By the way, my middle school was an "intermediate" school, which was common in Northern California at the time. They're now calling it a "middle" school.

Anonymous said...

As an Army Brat, I had the highly questionable "privilege" of rotating through multiple school systems both in CONUS and the DoD run schools in Europe.

At the age of 12 we were located in Fairfax Va. and I attended a Junior High school that was 7th and 8th grades only.

Half way through that school year I found myself plunked down in Baumholder Germany and in a school that was for grades 7 through 12 (which was actually surprisingly civilized, the seniors sort of "kept a lid" on the highly rambunctious victims of puberty). At the end of 8th grade I was under the impression that at long last I would be entering the hallowed environs of a real High School, but the US Army apparently discerned my wishes and we were off to Frankfurt Germany and I found myself In Frankfurt American Junior High, which was for grades 7, 8 and 9.

So were rotated back to the States in the summer of 1970 and now I am thinking I cannot be denied. Wrong again. We were stationed at the US Army War College in Carlisle Pa., and Carlisle has (I am NOT making this up) an Intermediate High School which was made up of grades 9 and 10.

So by virtue of relocation, I did not attend a real High School until the 11th grade. I suspect my story is nigh unto unbelievable to any reader who is not a service brat, and all too believable to them.

Anonymous said...

I was born in 1957 and most schools in la were grades 6th to 8th. Steve you most have lived in an area that had the older grading system. In Orange County with a few exceptions in the late 1960's the middle school or Jr high was all 6th to 8th.

helene edwards said...

Steve, you have to see this: at Volokh, they're discussing a proposal by UC Irvine Law dean Chemerinsky to force every kid to attend public school (outlaw both private and home-school). The entire discussion takes place without once mentioning blacks.

http://www.volokh.com/2013/01/23/equality-vs-liberty/

Jeeves said...

Junior High and High School is great for early maturing girls, and boys. And for the most part, society all across the West has adopted those values.

This, and the rest of what Whiskey has to say is correct.

My JHS experience ('50-'53) was bad for a number of reasons, agglomeration of vastly different neighborhood feeder populations being one. Diversity was a curse, mainly creating hierarchies based on physical maturity.

On the other hand, we were also "tracked" academically and thus in cognitively segregated homerooms that openly competed with each other.

But this did not bridge the dominant physical maturation/social acceptance gap, which one was constantly reinforced: a 7th grader's first experience in a locker room full of nude boys led inevitably to an unwelcome lesson in comparative anatomy, sometimes used to taunt the maturation laggards.

Anonymous said...

"More and more NAMs in our schools means more and more young white pre-pubescent children intermingling with fully mature NAM thugs."

Our local park is used for PE by both an exclusive private middle school and a heavily minority public middle school. The public school kids look high school age -- the boys are sprouting mustaches and run the gamut of adult body types from well muscled (some) to paunchy (most). The girls all look child bearing capable. The kids cluster into groups of three to six and there is little semblance of class order. There is a lot of shouting, pushing, and unintelligible joking. The PE teachers are mostly passive observers.

In contrast, the private school kids are lithe, smaller in stature, and many look like they might still be in elementary school. They show deference to adults and engage in very organized sports activities. They play hard, but are generally quiet and attentive, and tend to listen for instructions from the teacher.

Just noticing.

Anthony said...

Incidentally, at least in California, there were, and still are, "School Districts" and "High School Districts", and they operate independently. (If your school district is named "Unified School District", it's because they combined the two, probably in the 50s.) As fas as I know, all High School Districts are 9-12, and School Districts which don't have high schools are K-8.

The Outsider said...

The district I attended was shifting from junior high to middle school while I was there. One benefit was having more kids in the high school, which made it feasible to offer more AP and honors classes. That alone made it worthwhile, in my view.

Severn said...

You may be interested in this Steve.


A re-estimated U.S. average PISA score that adjusted for a student population in the United States that is more disadvantaged than populations in otherwise similar post-industrial countries, and for the over-sampling of students from the most-disadvantaged schools in a recent U.S. international assessment sample, finds that the U.S. average score in both reading and mathematics would be higher than official reports indicate (in the case of mathematics, substantially higher).


Of course they don't explain why they think we should just pretend that we don't have all those "disadvantaged" people here in the US.

Anonymous said...

My Junior High was 6th graders to 9th graders. The age disparity was too large. It was inappropriate for such young girls aroung 15 year olds, and it was dangerous for the younger kids.

Anonymous said...

It truely doesn´t matter what its called. But, I´m sick of words changing in our society to become supposedly more PC. I don´t remember what are the appropriate Asian countries names anymore. And recently I found out that a Waitor or Waitress is a Server. WTF? How is that better to be called. And who makes these decisions??

I´m gonna use the words I want from now on.. EFF ´em.

Anonymous said...

I know of a town where the schools are separated 4 times. I think one ot them was called Intermediate School. Sounded real dumb to me. The town was Weston, CT, very rich.

Anonymous said...

"You do NOT want 9th graders to be the oldest students in the building. They are insufferable. They need to be the littlest fish in the pond."

That might be true if they're all from the same ethnic group but what if some ethnic groups start going through puberty at 8 and others at 12?

You get a lot of sexually mature 12 year olds preying on pre-pubescent 8 year olds - and that is *exactly* what happens while the teachers turn a blind eye.

E. Rekshun said...

In Massachusetts, there is elementary school (grades 1 - 4), middle school (grades 5 - 8) and high school (grades 9 - 12). There is a huge difference between the physical and emotional maturity between 9th graders and 12th graders. Zero 9th graders had experienced sex. Fifty % of 12th graders had experienced sex. This was late 70s early 80s in a middle class, 98% White Boston suburb.

Anonymous said...

Middle school is the ultimate nightmare for Calif public schools. Elem. schools are still mostly neighborhood based and High Schools sort students into classes by academic achievement. But that is not done at middle schools except for math. So no one learns anything in middle school except math. Which grades go to which school is the least problem. Most families who have options are sending their kids to private or charter schools.

E. Rekshun said...

In 1973, when I started 5th grade, my MA public school system began to place students in cohorts, of levels 1 to 5. Each cohort took all classes together. A student's placement was based on some kind of series of tests. Level 5 being the brightest students. Most students remained in the same cohort and level throughout middle school, grades 5 - 7.

Big IQ difference between Levels 1 and 5, and even 3 and 5. Only at recess and lunch did a student see students from other cohorts. At that point, Levels 4 & 5 pretty much completely diverged in school and life from the lower levels.

Anonymous said...

Well,I guess the professor doesn't like that asians or whites in Irvine do a lot better than hispanics in Santa Ana or Anahiem. Actually, Anahiem has a real good program Oxford Academy which is over 60 percent Asian but at least 15 percent is Hispanic and only 10 percent white. Oh, well.