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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

October 24, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Question of the Week: Does tracking harm, or help, students?

Education Lab is a blog for teachers, parents, students and community members to talk about how our schools can better serve the region’s students. Each week, we will provide a question to get the conversation going. This week’s prompt centers on the topic of ability grouping.

[do action=”custom_iframe” url=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-WDQeh7zUrBCib6ul9zezLxTAeqP4eLve5Tn0KkTL2Q/viewform?embedded=true” width=”630″ height=”400″ scrolling=””/]

Separating children into groups by ability and tailoring their lessons accordingly — a practice known as tracking — has largely fallen into disfavor as an instructional method. Critics say it sets low expectations for students on slower tracks, and they never catch up to their peers. Yet in one form or another, tracking permeates many aspects of education, from special education to Advanced Placement.

What has your experience been with tracking? Could separating students by learning level be effective? Share your responses in the form above or in the comments section below. We will highlight a selection of responses on the Education Lab blog next week.

Comments | Topics: ability grouping, question of the week, teaching

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