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Educational Tracking or Ability Grouping.

How tracking impacts students. Can a tracking or ability grouping program avoid segregating children by race and ethnicity? Look at this issue from every vantage point. What about good students versus struggling students? How does this impact everyone involved?

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From a personal point of view, when I was in high school, we had 5 "tracks" or levels. Regardless of whether you wanted the other students to know what "level" you were in, it was known. The students in the lower levels were seen as the "dumb" kids. Those in the middle tracks were seen as "average" and nothing special and the kids in the higher levels were seen as the "smart geeks or nerds". Being a product of both average tracks and high tracks, I often felt confident while in my high level courses and not good enough while in my average level courses. This also segregated kids in a way such that if oa student was not in at least the upper of the two "average" classes, they were viewed as "unpopular".

Students in the lowest leveled groups were the ones that were seen as the kids with "problems". Social-emotional, behavioral or learning difficulties. Due to a severe learning disability, my sister was one of those put in the lowest level tracks. She lost all sense of self-esteem, felt ostracized due to her learning disability and felt as though she did not belong in classes with students that had no desire to learn.

While there was very little diversity in this school, it is only fitting to assume that those students in diverse neighborhoods and classrooms where ability grouping is present, students of the same ethnic groups are often ...