When I first heard of the idea of tracking Math classes in the Junior Year within Montessori, here at the school that is philosophically opposed to tracking; I chuckled. I was wondering how QHST would allow such a blatant disregard of the tenants that Jeanie Oaks back in 1992 said “tracking… had a particularly negative impact on the opportunities of low-income, African- American, and Latino students." Tracking is the cause of so much of the inequality in our school system.
A study done in Canada does claim that “untracking” math failed in the Ontario Schools system. The research showed that teachers unwilling to change their approach to teaching math, who were not given enough professional development to affect the change, and who were unwilling to implement the pedagogical changes that were offered were to blame for the failure. It does not claim that tracking math works better simply that math teachers work better when math is tracked. (very student centered ?)
I then continued my search with all my free time. I came across a progressive educational radio show that aired in Michigan and found the transcript. The on-air personalities clearly showed the benefits of tracking math, but still could not jump the hurdle of inequity created by tracking.
Why are we teaching? Are we not molding the next generation? We need to be cognizant of our acceptance of the practices of inequality. Turning a blind eye here to inequality is a dangerous slippery slope.
Finally, I began to ask my friends what they thought (this is a lie, as Mayo knows all to well, I have no friends, I work too much).
Apparently, Long Island High Schools have began to take the progressive leap toward untracking before us. Excited to hear this I began to look at the Rockville Center School District (upper middle class). EVERYONE MUST READ THIS ARTICLE.
Math teachers in our building will be sitting down to discuss this policy within the next week here at QHST. I think everyone should have a voice when equality and justice are at stake.