The George W. Bush Institute is planning to introduce its second big education initiative Wednesday, a program that seeks to improve graduation rates by focusing on middle schools, the Associated Press reports. Former first lady Laura Bush, set to announce the initiative, "Middle School Matters," in Houston at Stovall Middle School in the Aldine school district, said research has shown that middle school--6th through 8th grade--is a crucial time in determining future success.

"We know now from research that a lot of kids that drop out in high school really drop out in middle school. They just leave in high school,"...

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staff and wire services reports