Two Cities' Tracking and Within-School Segregation
Examined how grouping practices can create within-school segregation that discriminates against Black and Latino students.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Teacher College Record
Vol. 96, No. 4, pp. 681-690
- Whether students began with relatively high or relatively low achievement, those who were placed in lower-level courses showed lesser gains over time than similarly situated students placed in higher-level courses.
- School tracking practices create racially separate programs that provide minority children with restricted educational opportunities and outcomes.
- District tracking systems were not only very comprehensive but they were also quite rigid and stable.
- In both school systems, tracking had created racially imbalanced classes at all three levels -elementary, middle and senior high: 1)White students are consistently overrepresented and African American and Latino students are consistently underrepresented in high ability classes., 3) African American or Latino students were consistently overrepresented, while White and Asian students were consistently underrepresented, in low-ability tracks in all subjects.
- There was an inconsistent placement criteria to tracks.
- The broad range of achievement in each of the three tracks makes clear how far these classes are from being homogenous ability groups.
- In both San Jose and Rockford, placement practices skewed enrollments in favor of whites over and above that which can be explained by measured achievement.
- Grouping practices created a cycle of restricted opportunities and diminished outcomes.
- In both systems, grouping practices have created a cycle of restricted opportunities and diminished outcomes, and exacerbated differences between African-American and Latino and White students.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ability Groups, Segregation, Tracking
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Two school systems: Rockford Public School, in Rockford, Illinois and San Jose Unified School District, in San Jose, California
- Analyzed data about grouping practices in both school systems.
- Data gathered from" district and individual school curriculum documents, school plans, computarized student enrollment & achievement data, prior reports prepared by court minors; and depositions taken from school district employees in the course of the discovery process.