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Education Lab Blog

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

Topic: ability grouping

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November 1, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Your voices: Readers respond to question about tracking

Readers were eager to respond to our first Question of the Week, which asked whether tracking is helpful or harmful to students. The question was directly related to our Oct. 27 story about the turnaround at White Center Heights Elementary.

Many respondents shared anecdotes from their or their children’s own experiences in the classroom.

Sheila Noonan of Seattle writes: “My son started first grade with out real reading skills. He started the year in the lowest reading group and by the end of the year he was in the most advanced reading group. The groups met at the same time in the regular classroom—no pulling out of class, no announcing which group was which—just ‘Here join this group today.’ … My son was in the fourth grade before I knew that there were different math groups as well as different reading groups!”


Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: ability grouping, question of the week, tracking

October 27, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Roundtable: Can tracking ever work?

[do action=”guest-columns” piece1headline=”Joplin Plan shows promise for grouping students” piece1description=”Reading classes that separate students by ability, not grade level, allow for tailored instruction without stigmatizing students, writes Robert Slavin of the Center for Research and Reform in Education.” piece1commentsurl=”″ piece1commentstext=”See comments (3)” piece2headline=” Let’s challenge all students instead of tracking by ability” piece2description=”Rationing our most demanding curricula is not the way to shrink our country’s achievement gap, argues National Education Policy Center Director Kevin Welner. ” piece2commentsurl=”″ piece2commentstext=”See comments (10)” piece3headline=”Is blended learning the solution?” piece3description=”Drawing on her daughter’s own experiences with tracking in Seattle Public Schools, Alison Krupnick of ParentMap writes about how a combination of in-person and online instruction could enable students to rotate more fluidly through different groups.” piece3commentsurl=”″ piece3commentstext=”See comments (0)”/]


Comments | More in Guest opinion, Roundtable | Topics: ability grouping, blended learning, teaching methods

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.

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