Kilgore, Sally B.
The Organizational Context of Tracking in Schools
Modern Red School House Institute
How do the organizational characteristics of schools affect the tracking system?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Sociological Review
Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 189-203
- Organizational characteristics affect tracking patterns in schools.
- Mean SES positively affects the proportion of students who are below their expected track --high SES increases the likelihood of exclusive tracking. SES had no effect on the proportion above their expected track.
- Teacher control over tracking policies promotes inclusive tracking. Less teacher control is associated with exclusive tracking.
- Social networks between teachers and students affect tracking. When interaction between staff and students is high, inclusive tracking is more likely.
- This study finds that Whites are more likely than Blacks and Hispanics to be enrolled in a program that matches their educational aspirations.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Data are from the HSB longitudinal study of 30,448 high school students who were sophomores in 1980 in public and private schools. Two stage sampling was used. The data used in this study are: 1980 and 1982 student surveys, 1980, 1982, & 1984 administrator surveys, and 1984 teacher surveys. All public school students with complete data were used to estimate national tracking parameters. Tracking patterns were categorized as: exclusive, inclusive, meritocratic, or arbitrary. 1984 survey of administrators and teachers (ATS) for a subset of the 1,015 HS&B schools provides details on school organizational features. The final sample for this analysis is 180 schools.
- DV: Analysis evaluates track placement: proportion of students above their expected placement and proportion of students below their expected placement.
- IV: School level variables- structural constraints measures, information flow, cultural milieu, and proportion Black and Hispanic students. Student level variables- grades, prior math achievement, prior verbal achievement, and educational aspirations.