Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tracking; Why Schools Need to Take Another Route

Article by Oakes

I enjoyed reading this piece by Jeannie Oakes. I felt that I could connect with it to my High School years and her argument was very clear throughout the article.

Oakes argues that schools need to find another way other than tracking to figure out placement of students in classrooms. As I was reading this, I kept thinking back to my high school and it connected so well. I felt as though I was reading about my own school in a way. At my high school, it was similar to how Oakes says it should not be. There were three "groups" of classes and students. The highest would be what they call the honors classes where those students receive much attention and a lot of homework as Oakes says. The next would be the middle kids who are in between the highest and the lowest(at my HS, they are named college prep classes) as Oakes calls the average students. The lowest would be the students who are behind and require the most amount of help and who usually still don't get that amount of help in the lower class.

A quote that I think explains her argument well states, " It seems that tracking is both a response to significant differences among students and an ongoing contribution to those differences"(Oakes 179).
Oakes clearly does not believe that tracking is the best option and that schools need to find another way just as her title of the article says. I agree with her as I can connect it with my HS and look back now and see that it is a bad setup and it should be changed. It is also very true that the richer students were in higher classes and the poorest in the lowest class. This isn't saying that is the case for every student, but it was the majority.

I think this article can connect to the individuals vs. institutions. Tracking is definitely the institutions(school) wrong-doing and not the individual student. The student does not pick which class setting they are in, the school does. This Ted Talk discusses why tracking is not good in schools.

Points to discuss in class:
Is this issue of tracking seen in other high schools that you know of? What are some other ways that schools can place students other than tracking. Tracking seems to be doing worse things than it is better for the students. Students should all receive the proper education they need no matter if it is more teaching required than some other students.


  1. Cassie, I enjoyed this reading as well. On a very personal level it hit home. Amazing how a "label" can go with the student all the way up to high school. Something needs to change.

  2. I loved your post on this piece of reading. I felt like we connected on the same points. I do believe change is good!

  3. Nice job Cassie, I like how you responded to this article. I also like your points to discuss in class. All students deserve an equal opportunity.