Alternative Approaches to the Politics of Detracking

Publisher: Theory Into Practice, 45(1)
Page Numbers: 90-99

Notwithstanding empirical, pedagogical, and ethical criticism, the practice of tracking remains widespread. In part, this is because the process of detracking is seen as difficult and uncertain. This article uses case studies to introduce and illustrate two alternative approaches for moving forward with detracking reforms. The first, winning them over, is effective in a school community that is willing to engage in school reforms that promote equity while trusting that its educators will ensure a high-quality education even during times of change. The second, taking them on, becomes necessary in school communities that are more resistant to change and where equity and excellence are seen as incompatible. In such communities educational opportunities are generally viewed from a more competitive perspective.