Tracking in Mathematics and Science: Courses and Course-Selection Procedures

  • Spade J
  • Columba L
  • Vanfossen B
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Accessed: 31-10-2016 16:16 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact In this study of course offerings in mathematics and science and place-ment procedures in six high schools, three high schools that were iden-tified as "excellent" through regression analyses were matched with "average" schools, with one pair each in upper-, middle-, and working-class districts. The study found differences in course patterns available to students and the procedures used to assign students to classes. Excellent schools and districts that were higher in social class offered more college-preparatory and advanced courses. Also, the process by which students in these schools and districts were placed in classes was more systematic; it included broader assessments of students' abilities and involved faculty and guidance counselors more actively. It is note-worthy that although the social class of the community was related to the structure of schools, the structure of counseling activities and the courses offered differed among schools in the same social-class commu-nities. F or many years, researchers have

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  • Joan Z. Spade

  • Lynn Columba

  • Beth E. Vanfossen

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