ERIC Number: ED390121
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Parents, Professionals, and the Politics of Tracking Policy. Faculty Research Working Paper Series R95-19.
In 1987, the California State Department of Education issued "Caught in the Middle," a state policy document that called for extensive reform of the state's middle schools, including reductions in curricular tracking. Subsequent attempts to reduce tracking have frequently pitted reform-minded educators against resistant parents. This paper examines survey data from 373 California middle schools to evaluate the influence of various actors on school tracking policies. The paper explores the comparative influence of local educators and parents on detracking efforts and discusses the implications of professional and parental differences on tracking reform. A conclusion is that a confused institutional response has been made to the individual-group problem. The confusion not only stems from the strategic challenges of trying to provide everyone with learning, but also from the political problem of serving dual masters--convincing parents that schools operate in the best interests of their children while also convincing society that schools operate in the best interests of its future. Data were gathered through a survey of all 894 California middle schools, which elicited a 41.7 response rate. Nine tables are included. (Contains 33 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Kennedy School of Government.