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We seek to entertain and enlighten parents, teachers, and all who care about education. Hopefully we will inform and engage you, and even have a laugh or two.

Dec 14, 2017

Tracking students in education has been around a long time. Grouping students into grades or courses by their perceived ability, based on some assessment or criteria, has long been the practice, with the idea that students will 'get what they need' if they are grouped together. But does this work? Can homogenous grouping be successful for all students? 

Episode 8 explores the history of tracking and some of the benefits and drawbacks of tracking students. We will also get a few teachers perspectives on the idea of ability grouping, and hear from Lizzy Barnes, the Math District Supervisor for San Francisco Public Schools on their policy of no-tracking in mathematics. This controversial move has led to a change in the math curriculum with no students in SFUSD taking algebra until 9th grade. 

Take a listen, and if you want to find out more about tracking in general and/or SFUSD's efforts and successes, here are some links:

1)   NCTM's white paper on Tracking and Dismantling it.

2) Research on Tracking and its impact on equity

3) Edweek article on Tracking Issues

4) A different perspective on Tracking - The Upside

5) Pros and Cons of Tracking

6) SFUSD's Heterogenous Math Curriculum Project