Tracking -- a podcast done by a student who was put in the middle track but who wanted to be in the upper track -- her name is Jaimita Haskell, and this is her story of becoming an activist to get into the upper level of instruction and how this changed her life -- listen -- her story reveals some of the serious problems with tracking/ability grouping, and it offers advice for teachers and students -- created as part of WNYC's Radio Rookies program.
Stratification, Disillusionment, and Hopelessness: The Consequences of Tracking and Ability Grouping -- an online essay about some of the negative consequences of tracking and ability grouping.
The Dumb Class -- a 2009 article that raises important questions about how we define and assess intelligence for the purpose of assigning students to different levels of instruction.
Closing the Achievement Gap by Detracking -- an article about how one high school achieved significant effects by detracking. Full text can be found on Professor Kevin Welner's site under 'selected publications.'
When Excellence and Equity Thrive -- a 2004 editorial written by the principal of a high school where detracking has led to higher academic achievement for all students.
What Tracking Is and How to Start Dismantling It -- chapter two of a book about the successful "detracking" of a large pubic high school in Rockville Centre, NY -- includes good ideas about how to proceed in pursuing tracking/ability grouping reform and evidence of the improvements brought about by creating more heterogeneous groups -- the book is: Detracking for Excellence and Equity, by Carol Burris and Delia Garrity.
Should Students Be Tracked in Math or Science? -- a 1999 review of research that concludes that "the continuation of tracking seems unwarranted," because any gains come at the cost of increased barriers to lower-achieving students.
The Effects of Homogeneous Grouping in Mathematics - a 1993 report about how ability grouping in math education creates different educational experiences, paths, and opportunities.
U.S. Office for Civil Rights Official Statement about Ability Grouping -- a 1998 government statement that prohibits discrimination in ability grouping or tracking students.
Position Statement on Ability Grouping -- a 2002 position statement by the National Association of School Psychologists that argues for reform and only limited use of grouping.
Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries -- a 2005 international comparative study, done by an economic research institute, that suggests that rigid tracking of students into different classes by their academic ability provides little or no payoff for improving a nation’s overall academic achievement.
Ability Grouping in Elementary Schools: A Best Evidence Synthesis -- Robert Slavin's 1987 review of research about the academic achievement effects of tracking/ability grouping in elementary schools.
Does Ability Grouping Help or Hurt? -- An Interview with Anne Wheelock, author of the book, "Crossing the Tracks: How Untracking Can Save America's Schools".
High Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB -- a 2007 report by Tom Loveless that argues low-achieving students are making larger gains than high achieving students, and teachers are not focusing enough on high achieving students; therefore, he argues, we should continue with ability grouping and "gifted and talented education."
The Relationship of Grouping Practices to the Education of the Gifted and Talented Learner -- a summary of a 1991 study -- includes recommendations generally in favor of separating these students from others for instruction.
The Gifted Express: Now Leaving On Track 1 -- a commentary piece that expresses the view that "the abandonment of ability grouping has been particularly harmful to highly able students."
McDonald's or IBM -- a report on policies in North Carolina that require 8th graders to "choose" one of four career "pathways" before entering high school.
Is Ability Grouping the Way to Go -- Or Should It Go Away? -- a brief overview statement and links to other sites.
Study Finds Social Barriers to Advanced Classes -- this study found that choice-based grouping systems, with supposedly open access to all for the top classes, often don't live up to their intentions to enroll more minority and low-income students in upper level classes.
Grouping Students for Instruction in Middle Schools -- a 1998 review of practices commonly used for grouping students in middle schools -- discusses attitudes toward tracking and prevalent practices, summarizes recent research on ability grouping and tracking, and provides suggestions for further research.
The Challenge of Detracking: Finding the Balance Between Excellence and Equity -- a 1998 article presenting an overview of reasons for detracking and discussion of issues central to reform.
The AVID Program Homepage -- the AVID program places low achieving students in upper track classes, with support for their success, and it works.
Determinants of Student Achievement: New Evidence from San Diego -- this study reports that students whose classmates do well academically tend to score higher themselves ... For instance, in math, elementary school students who moved from a low-achieving grade to a higher-scoring grade improved by 9 percent more than they would have if they had stayed with the lower-performing students, the researchers found."
The Algebra Project -- the home website for this exceptional math education program, now nationally recognized, that was created by Civil Rights activist and Harvard Ph.D., Bob Moses -- a creative and culturally responsive approach to teaching African American and other youth algebra -- algebra is a major gatekeeping discipline and course that often determines whether youth are placed on the college prep path -- the program works, and the website includes lesson ideas and other useful information.
The Preuss School -- a charter middle and high school dedicated to providing a rigorous college prep education for motivated low-income students who will become the first in their families to graduate from college -- affiliated with the Univ. of California, San Diego.
Can Teachers Reach Every Kid? - an essay about teaching diverse youth within mixed classes.
Successful Detracking in Middle and Senior High Schools -- a 1992 report about detracking efforts.
Alternatives to Ability Grouping: Still Unanswered Questions -- a review of the conditions and strategies that can help make detracking successful.
The Cooperative Learning Center -- the website of a research center run by Roger and David Johnson, two international experts on cooperative learning.
An Overview of Cooperative Learning -- an excellent essay by two of the leading experts in the field.
Jigsaw Classroom -- a great website devoted to explaining a particular cooperative learning teaching strategy and cooperative learning in general -- includes history, information about effectiveness, and specific guidance for implementation.
Unleashing the Brain Power of Groups in the Classroom: The Neuroscience Behind Collaborative Work -- a 2010 article in the Harvard Education Letter about the cognitive, classroom, and instructional benefits of group work.