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ERIC Number: EJ859669
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1003
Getting into Honors or Not: An Analaysis of the Relative Influence of Grades, Test Scores, and Race on Track Placement in a Comprehensive High School
Archbald, Doug; Glutting, Joseph; Qian, Xiaoyu
American Secondary Education, v37 n2 p65-81 Spr 2009
Decisions made in middle school allocate students to different high school course levels and tracks. Because African American students are disproportionately represented in the lower level tracks of high school curriculum and because track placement affects learning and postsecondary opportunities, it is important to explore determinants of track placement. Some theories emphasize academic determinants of track placement; other theories emphasize student background variables and peer influences; and still others, racial biases among educators. Research findings have been inconsistent concerning how much disproportionate representation in lower level courses is explained by prior academic achievement variables and how much it is explained by race. We examined the effects of race and 8th grade academic achievement variables--grades and standardized tests scores--on odds of placement in different levels of 9th grade English courses in a large high school. Our findings indicated that track placement decisions were strongly determined by prior grades and test scores; race did not have a statistically significant independent effect on track placement. We identify a need for more research on the role of grades as determinants of track placement. (Contains 3 tables.)
Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Education. 229 Dwight Schar Building, 401 College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805. Tel: 419-289-5273; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A