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Tracking, using the term in the broader sense to include all ability . grouping, represents a solution to an insoluble dilemma. While individualized instruction has long been touted as the great desideratum in American education, no one has ever been willing to pay what it would cost to give each child a different education. Educators thus devised what they considered to be the-next best thing, educational units large enough to be economically viable but small enough to isolate students with what were thought to be roughly similar educational needs. These needs are determined by an unformulated formula employing "objective testing," classroom achievement, and teacher recommendations. The effect of a particular child's background on performance on these measures is rarely considered.

Publication Title

Inequality in Education, Harvard Center for Law and Education



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Tracking, Education

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