Tracking and Ability Grouping

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Information about Tracking and Ability Grouping
Education

Published on November 22, 2008

Author: tiffanyallemand

Source: authorstream.com

Tracking : Tracking And Ability Grouping Tracking : Tracking The practice of ability grouping in which students are placed in a series of different classes or curricula based on their ability and future career goals Some form of tracking exists in most middle, junior high, and high schools Ability Grouping : Ability Grouping The practice of placing students with similar aptitude and achievement histories together in order to tailor instruction to the group’s individual needs Occurs mostly in elementary schools Reading and Math Ability Grouping : Ability Grouping Between-class ability grouping: within a grade, all students in a classroom are determined to be at approximately the same skill level Within-class ability grouping: students within one classroom are subdivided Example Ability Grouping and Tracking Scenerios : Example Ability Grouping and Tracking Scenerios Ability Grouping Reading groups within a classroom in elementary school Tracking Approximately one fourth of 8th graders are placed in algebra In high schools, high-ability students take advanced or college preparatory classes while lower-ability students may receive vocational training Advantages : Advantages Teachers are more able to direct lesson plans to their specific students Students’ work is only compared to the work of their similar-ability peers Believed to promote the self-esteem of lower-ability students Allows for higher achievement of high-ability students Disadvantages : Disadvantages Tracking lends itself to labels, such as “slow” and “fast” learners and this confuses a learner’s pace of learning with his or her ability to learn May foster low self-esteem The criteria used to place children within tracks is fairly subjective and utilizes narrow views of intelligence The purpose of tracking should be to move learners from lower tracks to higher tracks, but generally, low track students stay at that level throughout their school careers There is a disproportionate number of minority students in lower-ability tracks Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 : Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Schools have the responsibility to ensure that ability grouping and tracking practices do not discriminate on the basis of color, race, or national origin Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 : Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 The criteria used to place students into tracks must be nondiscriminatory and students must be given the opportunity to move freely within ability groups based on progress Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 : Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 When disproportionate numbers of minority students or students of one race are enrolled in lower-ability classes, schools must be able to demonstrate that there is a valid educational justification for their ability grouping and tracking practices Tracking Today : Tracking Today IQ tests are no longer used to determine students’ tracks Academic performance (students’ grades and teacher recommendations) generally determines student placement Tracks are less rigid today than they were in the past

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