Transition to high school: What went wrong?

By Robert Zhang


I Unburied from mountains of homework just to get buried in bed. How did I get here? How did I go from a carefree child to stressed teenager? Asleep, I dreamed of how I used to enjoy the beauty of books under the shining moonlight.

What happened?

In middle school, we did not stress about mountains of homework. In middle school, we learned to enjoy ourselves. In middle school, we dived into the world of extracurricular activities.

Everything came to an end in High School.

Freedom. Choices. Variety. The infinite possibility of high school astonishes us. But soon, high school revealed its true color. People dropped classes in weeks. Heaps of work eventually broke us. Stress and anxiety took over.

The root of the problem lies in the transition between middle school and high school.

Why are high school courses harder and longer than middle school courses? Students can’t handle the difficulty and amount of work.

Ruth Curran Neild, Director of the PERC concluded the problem lies in the inadequate academic preparation for the students during middle school.

Reform efforts thus far have tended to address high school organization, with or without a focus on instructional quality or helping students to catch up on academic skills. Evaluations of these reforms, exclaimed Neild, suggest that both school organization and instructional improvement are necessary to keep ninth graders on track to graduation.

So how can we solve this?

By strengthening collaboration between middle school and high school. In other words, they need to discuss with each other and come up with an adequate education program for students.

Expert Robert Cooper and Suzanne Markoe-Hayes of the UCLA have been engaged in an ongoing study dedicated to developing and evaluating a transition model that creates a college-going culture among 9th grade students. In a 2005 report, they offered harder courses in middle school to facilitate an effective and successful transitions from middle school to high school.

In Robert’s program,  teachers prioritize studying in middle school classes. They offered courses that will lead to the courses in high school. The purpose of the program is to prepare the students for a successful start in high school. According to the international school of southeast asian schools, more than 80% of freshmen ended first semester with a gpa of 3.5 or above.

New educational program may be the solution to the problem of transition, this is the start of something new.

Once again, we will be released from this mountains of homework.

Once again, we will be disciplined and responsible.

And once again, we will enjoy the beauty of books under the shining moonlight.


One thought on “Transition to high school: What went wrong?

  1. s

    Sources are not cited and there seems to be two voices present in the editorial. The message is interesting, but what’s the counter-argument?

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