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Universal Access to a Quality Education: Research and Recommendations for the Elimination of Curricular Stratification

For well over twenty-five years, education commissions and prominent researchers have documented the negative effects of curricular stratification -- the practice of grouping students into different classes by perceived ability, commonly known as tracking or ability grouping. With little debate remaining on the need for change, the primary research focus has shifted to the implementation for reform -- for movement toward heterogeneous grouping. Learning from examples of schools that have abolished curricular stratification and promoted outstanding student achievement, this brief highlights lessons and offers recommendations for changing policy and practice. At the conclusion of this brief, it presents model statutory code language that could be adopted by a state wishing to implement the recommendations.