Faculty Publications

Title

Tracking in schools: Can American social scientists objectify such a sensitive topic?

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Inclusion, Mainstreaming, Public education, Tracking

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Mankind Quarterly

Volume

42

Issue

1

First Page

47

Last Page

52

Abstract

Tracking, or grouping children for instruction on the basis of ability and/or demonstrated academic achievement, has long characterized American educational practices inasmuch as it presumably provides a closer fit between what an individual student can learn and what is expected of that student in classrooms. Massive schooling changes introduced by forced busing created new educational issues: in virtually all school districts, tracking translated into a new form of racial segregation: a higher proportion of white children and a lower of minority children, were placed in advanced classes. Consequently influential educational reformers urge the demise of tracking and placement of students in classes irrespective of whether they can master course content. This paper urges more carefully empirical investigations before uncritical jettisoning of tracking.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2001

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