Dauber, Susan L., Alexander, Karl L., & Entwisle, Doris R.
Tracking and Transitions Through the Middle Grades: Channeling Educational Trajectories
Johns Hopkins University
Examines sources of influence on inner-city students' initial middle school placements in English and mathematics and continuity and change in placements through the end of middle school
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 69, Pp. 290-307
- Social background explains much of studentsâ€™ initial track placement which occurs in the sixth grade.
- African American students were less likely to be in advanced English and mathematics than were otherwise comparable White student. They were also more likely to be in remedial than in regular mathematics, even when academic history and educational expectations were controlled
- The only academic factor that strongly influenced initial middle school placements was fifth-grade standardized test score.
- Enrollment in advanced-level courses continues to be socially patterned in the eighth grade, as it was in the sixth grade, but there is little evidence of strong social-background patterns in remedial placements.
- By the eighth grade, social- background differences in mathematics are almost entirely hidden by their strong association with sixth-grade placements and by the stability in placements throughout middle school.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Middle School, Tracking
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Multinomial Logistic Regression
Students in Baltimore public middle schools
Unit of Analysis:
- Data come from the Beginning School Study
- Contains information on about 300 students
- DV: track placement in English and math
- IV: gender, race, motherâ€™s education, family income, academic history (scores on California Achievement Test, grades in reading/English and math, sixth grade placement), educational expectations (of parents and student)