Despite significant gains in middle grades education in the past decade, many have, in effect, hit a glass ceiling with regard to continuing the initial wave of reform. As a result, realizing the full benefits of comprehensive middle level reform also remains elusive, given the time required for systemic change and the compounding effect of recommended practices (Felner, Jackson, Kasak, Mulhall, Brand, and Flowers 1997; McEwin, Dickinson, and Jenkins 1996; Van Zandt and Totten 1995). Although numerous reasons exist for this lack of continued progress, a major barrier to the further development of excellent middle schools continues to be insufficient numbers of middle level teachers who have the specialized professional preparation needed to successfully understand and teach young adolescents (McEwin and Dickinson 1995, 1997).