The Talent Development Middle School Model

Corinne M. Herlihy
December 1, 2004

The Talent Development Middle School model, a whole-school reform initiative, aims to improve student achievement and to raise the expectations of teachers and students in struggling, urban middle schools. In six schools in an anonymous district, Talent Development had a positive impact on math achievement for eighth-grade students; the impact emerged in the third year of the model?s implementation and continued to strengthen in the schools for which additional years of data are available. Other, more modest and less consistent impacts emerged in eighth-grade reading achievement and attendance. The model did not appear to produce systematic improvements for seventh-grade students. The evaluation of Talent Development is ongoing and will provide further evidence about whether the model can sustain the improvements in math achievement for eighth-graders and extend its impact to other outcomes and to earlier grades.