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,” she said.

“One of the goals will be making sure they are prepared for high school,” she said.

For the program, the institute has compiled research done by various institutions on what determines success in middle schools and plans to take that information and work with middle schools to implement new practices…

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staff and wire services reports