History and Background
In 1994, the Academy for Educational Development (AED), with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, launched Middle Start to identify the characteristics of high achieving middle-grades schools. From this research, Middle Start developed a model for school improvement that now ranks as one of the most respected in the country.
In its first year, Middle Start partnered with a group of middle schools in Michigan. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided each school with grants to support the work; Middle Start served as the intermediary between the Foundation and grantees, and provided regular support and technical assistance. After four successful years, the Michigan Department of Education designated Middle Start as an eligible provider for comprehensive improvement services. With this honor, Middle Start rapidly expanded to other middle-grades schools and quickly became a leading CSR model in the state of Michigan.
AED opened the Middle Start National Center in 2002 to help manage the growing national demand for their CSR services. The Center coordinates work being done with regional partnerships and organizes and implements coaching and professional development to all participating schools. Today the Center works to support the unique needs of each partner — from suburban districts, to large urban districts like New York City and Washington, D.C., to multi-state consortiums such as Foundation for the Mid South (includes Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi).
With more than a decade of experience, Middle Start provides research-based programs that result in the academic success and healthy development of every middle-grades student.