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Tracking/ability grouping

Posted By: Eleanor Dougherty on January 7, 2003
Ms. Epsteing, I was interested in your discussion of tracking because I am involved in a few efforts around the country to design middle and high school curriculum that adjusts and accelerates the literacy and math curriculum to meet the needs of the older, low-performing students. We have three districts participating in this not-so-new design. This curriculum takes students where they are in reading and writing skills and uses discourse strategies and the Padeia Program to keep struggling readers in touch with key concepts and knowledge in social studies, science and literature. We redesign the context of the schools to do this by forming intellectual communities, or in-tact mini-schools - for personalization and flexibility in the use of time and resources. Essentially we strip the curriculum to literacy and math and use social studies and science to provide the topics. Students now see only their team teachers, usually four, and an elective class. The teams have long run times and can adjust and accelerate the materials. The districts have made it clear that students are to progress toward grade-level performances and materials and monitor that progress. We call this curriculum Rapid Transit. I have often had to buck the claim that we are tracking, so appreciate your explanation. Eleanor Dougherty, the Education Trust
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 Tracking....good or bad? by Christina Rhoades on November 24, 2002
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