NEPC Review: Tracking and Detracking: High Achievers in Massachusetts Middle Schools
A new report authored by Tom Loveless and published by the Fordham Institute misleads in an attempt to convince policymakers to maintain tracking policies. The report combines weak data with questionable analyses to manufacture a flawed argument against detracking. This review was written by Kevin Welner independently, not as part of the Think Tank Review Project. It is available to subscribers of the journal "Teachers College Record," at http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=15872
Welner’s review describes how the Loveless report combines weak data with questionable analyses to manufacture an argument against detracking. Better treatment of these same data would, in fact, likely show that high-achieving Massachusetts middle school students in heterogeneous, untracked classrooms do as well or better than those in tracked classrooms – certainly in language arts (English) and maybe even in mathematics. He concludes that the report misleads in an attempt to convince policymakers to maintain tracking policies.