Tracking is the educational practice of sorting, dividing, separating, or assigning students for instruction by perceived achievement and/or ability. It is often used interchangeably with “ability grouping.” Both terms share two social characteristics: students are grouped with peers who are similar to themselves and separated from peers who are different, and grouping is based on perceived academic ability. It is typically practiced at the secondary level with students sorted into different programs of study like vocational, general, remedial, college prep, gifted, and/or other categorically labeled tracks, also called “between-class” ability grouping. Tracking is also practiced at the elementary/primary level with students sorted into “high, middle, and/or low aptitude” tracked groups based on their perceived ability levels. There are a variety of perspectives on tracking, all ...

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