Maxwell School, Syracuse University

J. Milton Yinger


Middle Start: An Experimental Study of Educational Enrichment in Early Adolescence
J. Milton Yinger, Kiyosha Ikeda, Frank Laycock, and Stephen Cutler
Cambridge University PressRose Monograph Series of the American Sociological Association, 1977



“Middle Start is a report of a seven-year experimental field study which was designed to determine if an intervention program for young adolescents could affect the educational performance of economically disadvantaged adolescents.  Three hundred and ninety thirteen- and fourteen-year-old children (mostly male and mostly black) from five cities and 14 schools made up the core group of the study.  One-half of this core group was assigned to the experimental group and the other half served as the control group.  The study was designed to assess experimentally the impact of intervention on the following variables:  persistence in school, junior high school grades, senior high school grades, achievement test scores, assignment to a special school track, and attendance at academic or other special schools. 

            The experimental stimuli were Prom, the Special Opportunity Program conducted through Oberlin College and involving the experimental group in an intensive six-week academic summer program and systematic follow-up activities in the home school over a three- to four-year period.  The follow-up activities included personal and academic counseling, tutorial aid, making available information on selecting and financing a college education, and other supportive services provided to the experimental group. 




Trustee Professor of Public Administration and Economics