ERIC Number: ED467684
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Ability Group Effects on High School Learning Outcomes.
Hallinan, Maureen T.
This report asserts that a student's assignment to a particular ability group affects the student's academic achievement. Empirical research finds that, on average, students assigned to higher ability groups attain higher test scores than those placed in lower groups, controlling for ability. Theoretical formulations indicate that these achievement differences are due to the greater learning opportunities provided to students at higher ability group levels. Based on this reasoning, the present study predicts that, regardless of ability, students will generally attain higher achievement in a higher level group. Predictions from empirical models from a longitudinal study of high school students demonstrate that with few exceptions, students would attain higher test scores if assigned to a higher ability group than the one to which they are actually assigned. Conversely, regardless of ability, students would perform more poorly if assigned to a lower ability group. The results raise serious questions about whether U.S. high schools sufficiently challenge students to attain optimal performance. (Contains 36 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.; Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Notre Dame Univ., IN.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (95th, Washington, DC, August 15, 2000). Research supported by the Institute for Educational Initiatives, University of Notre Dame.