by Maika Watanabe
by Maika WatanabeThis article, based on a year-long, ethnographic case study of two teachers’ language arts classes, delves into the instructional opportunities afforded students across different academic tracks under North Carolina’s high-stakes accountability program. The author compares the nature of classroom instruction for students in the “regular” classes, which are disproportionately populated by students of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds, with that of their peers in “academically gifted” classes and considers the implications for equity in this new policy context.
by Roslyn Arlin Mickelson & Bobbie J. EverettThis article describes neotracking, a new form of tracking in North Carolina that is the outgrowth of the state’s reformed curricular standards, the High School Courses of Study Framework (COS). Neotracking combines older versions of rigid, comprehensive tracking with the newer, more flexible within-subject area curricular differentiation to form an overarching, multilevel framework for high school curricula.
by Carol Corbet Burris, Ed Wiley, Kevin G. Welner & John MurphyThis longitudinal study provides an in-depth examination of the long-term positive effects on student achievement when a diverse, suburban school district methodically detracked its middle school and high school. In addition to providing achievement data, the article provides a rich description of the strategies used by the district over the course of more than a decade, as it moved from a system with three or more tracks to one in which all students were given accelerated mathematics in a detracked middle school, followed by a ‘high-track’ curriculum in all subjects in heterogeneously grouped ninth-grade classes.
by Jo Boaler & Megan StaplesThis article presents a five-year, longitudinal, mixed-method study of approximately 700 students as they progressed through three high schools that taught mathematics in different ways. Large-scale evidence of a particularly successful approach is presented along with detailed analyses of the teaching and learning that took place within it.
by Beth C. RubinThis article considers the enactment of detracking in the ninth grade social studies classrooms of three public high schools. Through a detailed look at classroom life in racially and socioeconomically distinct public high school settings, it explores how local notions of ability shape the implementation of classroom practices in general and of detracking reform in particular.
by Jeannie OakesThe five papers in this volume represent a new generation of tracking research. In this commentary, Oakes reflects on their contributions in light of the twenty years of research and reform since the publication of the first edition of her landmark book, Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality.