A national nonprofit founded in 1992

Presidential Position Memo: Closing the Opportunity Gap for America's Middle School Students

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February 25, 2016

Dear Presidential Candidates:

We are writing today on behalf of eleven national and regional non-profit organizations that focus on expanding learning opportunities for low-income middle school students. Our organizations provide community-based learning programs for hundreds of thousands of students, supported through public-private partnerships at the state and national levels. Our programs help to prepare our students to thrive in high school and beyond.

Attached is a detailed policy memo laying out recommendations to address the needs of our middle school students. Research shows that investing in middle school students and expanding their learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom pays great dividends in high school and beyond. As a civic leader, we hope you will add four themes to your education platform:

1. Expand learning opportunities by leveraging community-based human capital.

2. Raise awareness of the critical middle school years.

3. Encourage public-private partnerships that help to expand learning opportunities.

4. Invest in what works for middle school students.

As detailed in the attached memo, our programs are re-imagining the school day through expanded learning opportunities. We partner with schools, national service organizations, and businesses to allow our middle school students to continue learning after the school day ends. We are investing in what works for our students through effective public-private partnerships, without adding any burden to school teachers or school systems.

We know students succeed when they have more high-quality opportunities for learning, and we hope you will expand your education platform to include our four additional themes. We are happy to work with your campaign to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Thank you for your commitment to making high-quality education available to every student in America.

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