ERIC Number: ED407478
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Detracking in a Racially Mixed, Urban High School. Report No. 12.
The response of one urban school community to the tension between excellence and equity in public education was to change the structure, curriculum, and educational practices of its ninth-grade English and history courses fundamentally. This report brings together qualitative and quantitative data to document the efforts of a large urban high school to improve the schooling experience of its students through alternatives to tracking. The large, racially mixed West Coast school experimented with eliminating tracking by grouping its ninth graders heterogeneously in English and history, balancing each core class of 20 students by race and ability. Qualitative data come from interviews with educators, administrators, and parents, and quantitative data come from a survey completed by 744 students in the classes in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 academic years. Data suggest that the level of implementation of the core class approach, from a student perspective, affects achievement, engagement, and enjoyment. Students feel positive about the core system, and report that the multicultural focus of the program does not dilute the curriculum, but actually augments it. The core also provides a small student/teacher ratio, which helps develop a sense of community. Appendixes present the core evaluation survey and the composites used to measure the degree of implementation. (Contains 2 tables and 18 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Baltimore, MD.