Traditionally, all students are divided into three groups: the gifted and talented, the at-risk, and the “average students.” One-quarter of all students are placed at the top and one-quarter are placed at the bottom, leaving a vast, undifferentiated middle that contains 50 percent of all students in schools.
Movement of Youth primarily focuses on middle-range students, defined as those students with a GPA between 2.0 to 2.9 that score between the 30th and 70th percentile on standardized tests. According to a study conducted by Sheila Roseblum (1990), “these students are important to target because they are neither relatively assured of success in college nor clients of remedial or developmental programs. While the nation’s best students are well educated, and at-risk students are the target of developmental programs, those considered ‘average’ often receive an unchallenging, watered-down curriculum that fails to prepare them for post-secondary education or to enter the workforce.”
Roseblum’s research found the following:
Numerous high school students with average ability have shown real tenacity and effort by maintaining good school attendance, achieving satisfactory academic records, and contributing to their school and community. Nonetheless, they run grave risks of failing to fulfill their potential for a variety of reasons:
Movement of Youth is a program that recognizes these middle-range youth as a valuable asset and the cornerstone of future development. The program strives to guide students along the path to success and destroy the negative societal influences that can derail their lives.
Roseblum, Sheila. “Educational Reform Options Targeted to Middle-Range High School Students.” Research Report 08-027. 1990. Southeastern Educational Improvement Lab., Research Triangle Park, NC.