Jeannie Oakes “Tracking: why schools need to take another route” talks about the issues related to schools placing students by their performance in class subjects After reading Jeannie Oakes “Tracking: why schools need to take another route” I could relate this to the schools that I grew up in. Looking back at my middle school English and math were separated into levels. There were A level B Level and C level based on a test you took at the beginning of the year. I can remember clearly being placed in B level math and telling my parents. My parents were furious at the system and demanded the teachers to move me to A level math class, after some fighting they agreed to move me up to the A level class which I stayed in for the rest of my middle school.
This experience relates very well to Jeannie Oakes “Tracking: why schools need to take another route” and the uneven opportunities it creates for students. After being switched from the B level class to the A level class I was able to catch up very quickly even if I was a little behind everybody else. My friends in the B and C level classes were sections behind us and were not challenged as hard in as students in the A levels. This created separation and made students in the lower levels feel bad and feel that they were not as smart. If Students were integrated more and not separated based on academic skill level, students would feel more on the same level as everybody else and not like they are dumb or not as smart as the other students. “Recent work of cognitive psychologists suggests, for example, that academic ability is not unchangeable but developmental and grows throughout childhood. As children interact with their environment, they acquire cognitive abilities.” This quote from the text helps explain how a student’s academic ability can change over time and is effected by the individuals and environment around them. In My schools once you were assigned an A B or C class you remained in those types of classes throughout the rest of their education it was highly unlikely that you would be able to improve or move up to the next level in the system they created at my school.
In my Physical education classes I am taking at RIC we are told specifically not to separate the students based on physical ability, but to separate and create groups with a mix of students at different levels so the students can use teamwork and learn by watching students who know how to complete a task successfully.