ERIC Number: ED406458
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Ability Grouping and Tracking: Current Issues and Concerns. Achieving National Education Goals.
Brown, Patricia; Goren, Paul
Structures that produce negative effects for some children are discussed, including grouping practices. A role for the states in moving away from traditional approaches is outlined. Current ability grouping and tracking are critical barriers to creating high expectations for all students, and they perpetuate low levels of performance for average and below-average students and tend to maintain the low expectations often held for minority groups. Existing grouping practices tend to sort children out of learning opportunities. Systemic change is needed to link social service programs to the education system, to improve student readiness to enter school, and to define and implement accountability systems that the public understands and embraces. Change cannot occur over night, and the support of Governors and other policymakers is vital to the success of reform efforts. Some state efforts toward reform in the area of ability grouping and tracking are reviewed. Supportive state strategies are particularly possible in the areas of: (1) incentives to schools to consider more flexible grouping; (2) networks of practitioners to share successful approaches; (3) assistance to schools; (4) professional development; (5) communication; and (6) focus on the context of reform. Appendix A contains three essays on current practices, and Appendix B analyzes issues and recommendations from a recent working meeting on ability grouping and tracking. (Contains 22 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Ability Grouping, Academic Ability, Accountability, Context Effect, Educational Change, Educational Discrimination, Elementary Secondary Education, Government Role, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Nondiscriminatory Education, Professional Development, School Readiness, Social Services, State Programs, Student Placement, Track System (Education)
National Governors' Association Publications, P.O. Box 421, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: National Governors' Association, Washington, DC. Center for Policy Research.