Powerful Partnerships Supporting Baltimore City Students

“I enjoyed working every single day. This has been the best job that I’ve ever had. Middle Grades Partnership’s freedom as a director and teacher allows for meaningful moments in the classroom each day, teaching things that the students see value in.”

Middle Grades Partnership Teacher


Middle Grades Partnership hired Deborah Carran, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Teacher Development and Leadership in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, and an expert in educational evaluation and summer learning loss, to conduct a four-year (2012-2015) evaluation of our programs. Dr. Carran examined our student population demographics, assessed Middle Grades Partnership’s impact on academic knowledge and skills, and identified student attitudes and behaviors that support academic success. As she wraps up her work we find we have quite a bit of excellent data. Our attendance rate is 85%, meeting the benchmark for excellence in summer programming. It is important to note that this is despite the fact that most of our students have to get up early enough to catch a public bus to their home school prior to boarding the bus to the private school partnership site. We are proud to boast a high retention rate from year to year. Last year our overall retention rate was 78%. Furthermore, 92% of our rising 9th graders were accepted into citywide academic entrance criteria public high schools. Another 5% were accepted into Baltimore School for the Arts, parochial or private schools.

As Middle Grades Partnership completes its four-year longitudinal evaluation, we are moving forward with a new evaluation strategy. After much research we have decided to pursue a three-pronged approach to that we think will help us improve programming while providing important data on student outcomes. Our new approach to evaluation will include the use of:

  • Partnership specific as well as program wide use of The National Summer Learning Association’s Summer Learning Program Quality Assessment (SLPQA)
  • Program impact surveys of students, staff and parents
  • Student outcomes including:
    • High school acceptances
    • School year attendance
    • Student comp scores
    • iReady / MAPS scores (interim assessments in Math and English)
    • Standardized tests scores, if available
    • Free and reduced meals data, if available
    • Student GPA
    • Summer attendance and retention
    • Student tracking through high school graduation

In this way we will be able to engage each of our partnerships in individualized continuous improvement cycles and coaching, along with monitoring of program satisfaction from multiple sources and student outcomes. This is a development about which we are very excited.

Middle Grades Partnership increases opportunities for academically promising Baltimore City public middle school students through public and private school partnerships.

Middle Grades Partnership