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A paper urging Mayor de Blasio and his team to consider insights and recommendations about middle-grades learning in New York City. Moving away from outdated assumptions about adolescence and schooling, this work suggests and expands upon the following:

1. Reframe middle-grades learning as a community responsibility.

2. Focus accountability on student learning and development in and out of school.

3. Strengthen middle-grades schools as centers of youth development.

4. Incentivize innovative designs.

5. Prepare and support a range of adults to foster middle-grades learning in and out of school.

Publication Date



middle-grades, middle school, education, afterschool, education reform


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods



Alison Overseth
Executive Director
Partnership for Afterschool Education (PASE)

Fred Frelow
Senior Program Officer
Ford Foundation

Rima Shore
Adelaide Weismann Chair
Bank Street College of Education

Mayra Bloom
Director, Leadership in Community-Based Education
Bank Street College of Education


Sanda Balaban
Consultant/Founder, CityPathways
Consultant, Future of Learning and Innovative Programs (FLIP)

E. Bruce Barrett, R.A.
Vice President
Architecture & Engineering
NYC School Construction Authority

Leslie Bedford
Director (Emerita)
Leadership in Museum Education
Bank Street College of Education

Marcelo De Stephano
School-Based Health Centers, Dental Clinics, and Health Insurance
New York City Department of Education

Lucy Friedman
The After School Corporation (TASC)

Erica Hamilton
Executive Director and Vice President
City Year New York

Christon Harris
College Success Coordinator/ Counselor
New Settlement College Access Center

Fern Khan
Dean of Continuing Education (Emerita)
Bank Street College of Education
PASE Board

Jackson Kytle
Interim Dean of Innovation, Policy, and Research
Bank Street College of Education

J. Tyler McCormick
Leadership in Community-Based Learning
Bank Street College of Education

Frank Pignatelli
Graduate Faculty
Educational Leadership Department
Bank Street College of Education

Nigel Pugh
Richard R. Green High School of Teaching

Jane Quinn
Vice President
Director of National Center for Community Schools
Children's Aid Society

Dara Rose
Senior Program Officer
The Wallace Foundation

Jonathan Spear
Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer
Generation Schools Network

Strengthening NYC Middle-Grades Learning In & Out of School: Five Recommendations to the Mayor