The middle school years represent an important time in children’s development. The knowledge, skills, and social interactions students gain in middle school have a lasting influence on student motivation and academic achievement in high school and beyond. Research indicates that student performance in mathematics in grade 8 predicts future mathematical achievement, and students who are poor readers are more likely to drop out before graduating high school. In 2015, Florida ranked 44th among states and the District of Columbia scoring at or above basic in mathematics and 33rd in reading on the eighth-grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment. In an effort to improve middle grades achievement in the state, the Florida Legislature funded a comprehensive study of six states nationally recognized as having high performance on the eighth-grade NAEP in reading and mathematics. This report outlines findings from a comprehensive examination of middle grade performance, policies, and practices in Florida and the six states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington.