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Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality (2d ed.)


reviewed by Kathryn A. McDermott — July 20, 2006

coverTitle: Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality (2d ed.)
Author(s): Jeannie Oakes
Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven
ISBN: 0300108303, Pages: 332, Year: 2005
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Since it was first published in 1985, Jeannie Oakes’s landmark book Keeping Track has had the sort of impact that most academic authors only dream about, influencing not only educational researchers, but also practitioners and policy makers.  The selection of students into vocational, college-preparatory, honors, and “general” tracks on the basis of their measured ability or prior performance was once an unexamined common occurrence of U.S. middle and high schools, but during the last 20 years it has become a hotly contested political issue.  Keeping Track was a major catalyst of this debate. To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Keeping Track, Oakes has published a second edition with new material that extends her previous arguments into the present.  In the preface to the second edition, Oakes explains that she chose to update her classic work for several reasons: tracking itself has changed, she and others have conducted more research on detracking,... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: July 20, 2006
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12609, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 2:20:27 PM

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About the Author
  • Kathryn McDermott
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    E-mail Author
    KATHRYN A. MCDERMOTT is Associate Professor in the School of Education and the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research and teaching interests include U.S. education policy, educational equity, and standards-based reform. She is the author of Controlling Public Education: Localism Versus Equity (University Press of Kansas, 1999), as well as numerous journal articles. Her current research is on the development and implementation of states’ educational accountability policies.
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