New Jersey Schools to Watch

Engaging in outstanding educational practices that can be replicated by others.

Schools to Watch Rubric as a Middle School Reform Model

The National Forum to Middle-Grades Reform is a 17 state collaboration of middle level educators who are focused on transforming middle level education to best serve students.  
In June 2007, the Research Committee received support and approval from the National Forum Board to engage in a series of research activities as part of the National Forum’s Research Agenda. As a result the National Forum has been awarded several significant grants from the US Department of Education and conducted significant research on the use of the Schools to Watch model for school reform.  More detail can be found at :
Schools to Watch® is an initiative launched by the National Forum in 1999. Through the Schools to Watch® initiative, the National Forum identifies schools across the United States that are well on their way to meeting the Forum’s criteria for high performance. Forum members believe that four things are true of high-performing middle-grades schools:
  • Academic Excellence
  • Developmental Responsiveness 
  • Social Equity
  • Organizational Support and Processes 
The Forum's research and work with collaborative partners yeilded the self assessment rubric that can be used to assess a school's baseline, foster discussion about findings, and create action plans to move the school foward.
Download the rubic from the National Forum's' Website:

  Schools to Watch Rubric as a Tool to Assist Middle School Administrators with School Improvement and Leadership Performance Evaluations

The Schools to Watch Rubric can be used as a tool to ask questions, find answers, discover next steps, and/or design action plans.  One of the benefits of using the rubric is that it can inform self-reflection and even evaluation. 
This paper was presented at the NJAMLE convention in 2015 at Kean University.   Download Paper in PDF format.