Educational Tracking in Middle Schools?Tracking in middle schools, does it help or hinder our children? I ask this question as my child starts her second year of middle school as a highly motivated, high achiever who doesn’t qualify for the gifted program, so I admit I may have a bias. But as I delved into research on the matter, I’m even more confounded by the choices made by our local administrators. And I worry. As a bright child who works hard to make straight A’s and very few B’s, will my daughter continue to excel now that the administration has taken a portion of 7th graders, the best and the brightest, who were in her heterogeneous classes last year, and have now separated them from the general population?
Much of the educational research I have read over the last twenty years indicates that educational tracking does a disservice to students at all levels, has actually been shown to lower overall achievement in schools, and has been challenged in the U.S. courts as a form of discrimination under Title VI. Other research conducted on behalf of gifted children claims ability grouping is necessary in order to challenge children with high IQ’s.
I’d like to hear what our readers and contributors think about tracking.