Off The Track
Impact of current tracking practices and impacts. Showing how these practices are harming millions of students and our society.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Society for Research on Adolescence
- Good students in high level math and science courses were just as likely to be ignorant about college requirements as students in lower tracks.
- There is a differential impact of level of parental education among ethnic groups. High level of parental education does not provide much protection to disadvantaged American minority students.
- The role of ethnic discrimination played in the creation of ethnic differences in tracking had its major effect in the elementary and middle school years.
- There is a systemic pattern of ignorance among all ethnic groups, and African American and Hispanics are even less aware of the extent to which the tracking system is short-changing them.
- Ignorance can be functional for school personnel even as it leads to disaster on a national scale.
- Initial placement is very likely to be a lasting placement.
- Schools overestimate their ability to asses ability.
- Being at the bottom of the high track appears to bring better educational returns that being at the top of the low track.
- Baby-sitting is not a substitute for education.
Asians, Ethnicity, Family, Hispanics, Math, Science, Teachers, Tracking
Secondary Data, Survey
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Sample taken from 6 diverse high schools in northern California.
- Sample has the proportion of low-performing Hispanics equal to the proportion of high-performing Hispanics, and the proportion of high-performing Hispanics equals the proportion of high-performing non-Hispanic Whites.
- 1245 High School students.
- More than 460 Hispanics and between 200 and 300 students in each other main ethnic group.
- Equal proportion of students with high middle and low grades
- Qualitative data from interviews with adolescents and their parents.
- DV: Tracking assignment
- IV: Previous performance, background and parental information.