ERIC Number: ED328632
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The Variable Effects of Tracking: Inequality and Productivity in American High Schools.
The effects of tracking on high school students' academic achievement are not constant across schools. This study examines the relationship of the following organizational dimensions of tracking systems on the variation in between-track inequality and productivity: (1) selectivity; (2) electivity; (3) inclusiveness; and (4) scope. "Inequality" refers to the "achievement gap" between tracks; "productivity" refers to the average achievement of each school. In addition, differences between public and Catholic schools are examined. Statistical data from the High School and Beyond survey were analyzed for 28,804 students in 964 public and Catholic high schools. The following findings are reported: (1) more flexible systems produce lower inequality in mathematics, reading, and vocabulary achievement; (2) moderately inclusive systems also produce lower inequality in mathematics achievement; (3) flexibility and inclusiveness have a positive effect on overall achievement; (4) elective systems produce higher achievement; and (5) Catholic schools have lower inequality and higher productivity than public schools, due in part to the way they use tracking. A list of 59 references and 5 tables of statistical data are appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, Madison, WI.