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Talent Development Middle Grades Program
Dropout Prevention

No studies of the Talent Development Middle Grades Program (TDMG) that fall within the scope of the Dropout Prevention review protocol meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards. The lack of studies meeting WWC evidence standards means that, at this time, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of TDMG.

Talent Development Middle Grades Program (TDMG) is a whole school reform approach for large middle schools that face serious problems with student attendance, discipline, and academic achievement. The program includes both structural and curriculum reforms. It calls for schools to reorganize into small ”learning communities” of 200–300 students who attend classes in distinct areas of the school and stay together throughout their time in middle school. In addition to structural changes, schools adopting the program purchase one or more curricula that are intended to be developmentally appropriate and to engage students with culturally relevant content. For students who are behind in reading and math, the program provides additional periods devoted to these subjects that include group activities and computer-based lessons. To improve implementation, each school is assigned a team of “curriculum coaches” trained by the developer to work with school staff on a weekly basis to implement the program. In addition, teachers are offered professional development training, including monthly sessions designed to familiarize them with the program and demonstrate effective instructional approaches.

Last Updated: March 2009

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