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Document Number: 5594

The Tracking and Ability Grouping Debate - Ability grouping and tracking have become increasingly controversial in recent years, with many claiming they lead to, or further entrench, class and racial segregation while failing to promote academic achievement. Despite these charges, this paper argues there is no conclusive evidence concerning either the effectiveness or harmfulness of tracking or ability grouping. (The exception is for high-achieving students, who do appear to benefit from tracked classes with enriched curriculum.) Section Three contains a brief overview of research on ability grouping and tracking while Section Four contains the author's suggestions for successful future policies. (Tom Loveless, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, July 1998)...

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